The Commercialization Of Unsafe Abortion Essay

2339 WordsOct 12, 201610 Pages
Abortion in Zambia has been legal since 1972, and the abortion law is one of the most liberal in sub-Saharan Africa. However, more than 40 years later, women continue to procure unsafe abortions; approximately 97% of all abortions are unsafe in Africa (Sedgh et al., 2012). In Zambia, this number is lower but still significant, where an estimated 70% of abortions are unsafe, and unsafe abortion accounts for approximately 30% of all maternal deaths (Leone et al., 2016; Cresswell et al., 2016). The pervasiveness of unsafe abortion in Zambia is due to both legal and social factors. Main issues include Zambia’s Termination of Pregnancy Act—which requires the signature of three doctors to acquire a non-emergency abortion—a dearth of doctors in the country, and the substantial distance one must travel to healthcare facilities. Limited knowledge concerning abortion legality, social stigma and negative attitudes toward abortion also contribute to the problem. Despite voicing concern for women’s access to safe abortion, the government’s work in reducing unsafe abortion in Zambia to date has been largely unsuccessful (Coast & Murray, 2016). Zambia recently re-elected president Edgar Lungu in August 2016 to serve a 5-year term. Examining the best options to extend safe abortion services and post abortion care in Zambia during his presidency should be a priority. Legality of abortion is not enough; the Zambian government must address root causes of unsafe abortion and ensure
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