Rethinking Laws of the Land

Less restrictive abortion laws are linked to lower maternal mortality, and vice versa, according to University of Melbourne researchers. Their findings show that reforming restrictive abortion laws could lower maternal mortality and demonstrate a need for services shielding women from unsafe abortions.

The study scored the flexibility of abortion laws in 162 countries—based on a sum of the reasons abortion is legally permitted. Maternal mortality was higher in countries with lower flexibility scores.

A systematic recording of country-level variables like female education and contraceptive prevalence could further illuminate the link between abortion laws and maternal mortality, the researchers suggested.  

BMC Women’s Health

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