Gynuity Health Projects


Introduction of Medical Abortion in Developing Countries

Complications of abortion are among the most important causes of maternal death globally. In Africa, it is estimated that there are 22 unsafe abortions per 1,000 women; nearly one-fifth of all maternal deaths in the region are linked to unsafe abortion practices. In many low resource countries with limited access to health care services and few trained surgical abortion providers, medical methods of abortion promise to help reduce maternal morbidity and mortality.

To date, mifepristone has been registered in over 35 countries, but most of these are in the industrialized world. Fewer developing countries have made this drug available in part because of more restrictive abortion laws, the expense of the drug, and reluctance to allow the pill on the market. Even doing clinical testing of the acceptability and feasibility of the use of the drug can be daunting because of unclear regulatory requirements and political controversies. Gynuity works in low resource settings to help support introduction of this promising technology.