Increased contraceptive use has led to fewer abortions worldwide. But unsafe abortions kill 70,000 women a year. Those are the findings of a major global survey compiled by the New York-based Guttmacher Institute, which supports abortion rights.
The report says more than half the deaths, about 38,000, are in sub-Saharan Africa. That region was singled out for having by far the lowest rates of contraceptive use and the highest rates of unintended pregnancies.
The report was three years in the making. Researchers examined data from individual countries and multinational organizations. The report calls for further easing of developing nations' abortion laws, a stand criticized by abortion opponents.