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Choices for Medical Abortion Introduction in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Peru

The region of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) has one of the highest rates of maternal mortality due to unsafe abortion in the world, accounting for 17% of total regional maternal deaths (WHO, 2004). The consequences of abortion-related mortality and morbidity motivate health and development organizations to invest attention and resources in this devastating public health issue. This working paper touches on some of the issues involved in developing a strategy to introduce medical abortion technology into reproductive health services in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Peru. These are among the most populous countries in the region (PAHO, 2006) and they report some of the highest rates of morbidity and mortality related to unsafe abortion. The paper summarizes information about medical abortion regimens, describes the context and availability of medical abortion drugs in each country, and discusses specific issues relevant to the introduction of medical abortion regimens.

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