Guttmacher: Uneven progress and unequal access to abortion worldwide

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A new report from Guttmacher Institute reveals uneven progress toward abortion access worldwide in 2017.

The study shows that while some regions have seen drastically declining abortion rates in the past few decades, 97 percent of unsafe abortions still occur in developing regions, where laws are most restrictive. Additionally, stigma often prevents women from accessing modern contraceptives in these restrictive environments – contraceptives that would allow them to plan their families and decrease the likelihood that they resort to unsafe methods.

In a new piece for The Guardian, Marjorie Newman-Williams, President of MSI-US and VP of External Affairs says the study comes at a critical moment:

"At a time when we see several governments around the world trying to increase restrictions on women’s access to safe abortion, and in some cases even to contraception, this report is a beacon of common sense. Restricting abortion does not stop women from having them. All it does is drive women to desperate measures, putting their health and lives at risk"

In these restrictive environments, Marie Stopes outreach teams work to provide contraception in remote and rural communities – often travelling for days at a time to reach women who would otherwise not have access to family planning. 

Read the full report from Guttmacher Institute. 


Our Global Impact Last Year


women using a MSI
method of contraception


unintended pregnancies


unsafe abortions prevented


pregnancy-related deaths prevented