Abortion, in general, and particularly what could be referred to as ‘socially-induced’ abortion is not uncommon in many parts of the world. In 2011, an estimated 1.1 million abortions were performed in the United States; the abortion rate was 16.9 per 1,000 women aged 15-44, representing a drop of 13% since 2008.
The global abortion rate was stable between 2003 and 2008, with rates of 29 and 28 abortions per 1000 women aged 15-44 years, respectively. In the developing countries, some studies showed that this type of abortion is common and more complicated. Singh (2008) found that abortion was as high as 15 per 1000 hospitalization in Uganda and Egypt and 4-7 per 1000 hospitalization in other countries like Pakistan and Nigeria.
The significance of these numbers is that the practice of abortion in many of these countries is restricted by laws that limit the access of women, especially unmarried ones, from abortion, as it usually socially stigmatizing. Alternatively, those who want to get unsafe abortion seek local ‘abortionists’, who are usually untrained personnel. Shah and Ahman (2010) estimated that about 47,000 women have lost their lives from the complication of unsafe abortion.