Most abortions take place in the first trimester, before the fetus even hints at being sentient.
.6 of every 100,000 women who get an abortion suffer mortality
12 in 100,000 of those same women die in childbirth.
Newsweek added: “In fact, childbirth is the leading cause of death and disability for women of reproductive age–more dangerous than heart disease and AIDS. And children left behind are the secondary victims. They’re more likely to die because they are motherless.”
I have spoken to women who used knives, knitting needles, rubber tubes, even pieces of wood to pry open their uteruses. Some got access to abortive medicines that in theory lower the possibility of direct infection but that caused serious complications when they took them without medical assistance. Affluent women suffered fewer traumatic ordeals, often traveling to the U.S. for the procedure or sneaking off to upscale private Latin America clinics where, on paper, they had surgery for appendicitis.
In a region where there is little sex education and social taboos keep unmarried women from seeking contraception, criminalizing abortion has not made it rare, only dangerous. Rich women can go to private doctors. The rest rely on quacks or amateurs or do it themselves. Up to 5,000 women die each year from abortions in Latin America, and hundreds of thousands more are hospitalized.
But despite such legal risks, Latin America continues to experience abortion rates that are much higher than most countries where it is legal.There are an estimated 4 million abortions every year across the region. Up to 200,000 clandestine abortions take place in Chile every year–twice as many as in Canada, which has 100,000 a year–and Chile has half the population.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 3.7 million unsafe abortions are conducted every year in Latin America and the Caribbean, which comes down to nearly one abortion for every three live births. In Africa, where 99% of these interventions are done illegally, the number of unsafe abortions is estimated at 4.2 million, representing one abortion for seven live births.
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