Hesperian Health Guides

Hesperian Health Guides

Chapter 15: Abortion and Complications from Abortion

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HealthWiki > Where Women Have No Doctor > Chapter 15: Abortion and Complications from Abortion


a woman falling into a net labeled 'legal abortion' that hangs above a hole labeled 'unsafe abortion'

If family planning methods fail, safe and legal abortion is a woman's safety net.

Lack of family planning services and lack of information about sex lead to unwanted pregnancy and abortion.

When a woman does something to end a pregnancy, this is called an ‘abortion’. We use the word abortion in this book only to describe an action that is planned. The unplanned, natural loss of a pregnancy we call a ‘miscarriage’.


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