Trends in the Method and Gestational Age of Abortion in High-Income Countries

Anna Popinchalk , Guttmacher Institute
Gilda Sedgh, Guttmacher Institute

Examining the distribution of abortions by gestational age and method is important for understanding women’s access to health services, and the options women may have to terminate their pregnancies. For 25 high income countries we compiled data for 2016 or the most recent year for which data were available, and ten years prior, on the gestational age and method of abortions performed. Since 2006 there has been an increase in both the proportion of abortions that were obtained at earlier than nine weeks gestation, and the proportion of abortions that were medication abortions. Now, in the majority of countries, medication abortion accounts for at least half of all abortions, and over two thirds of abortions occur before the first nine weeks of gestation. These findings highlight changes in abortion provision in the past decade, and suggest improvements in access to timely care and a choice of methods in some countries.

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 Presented in Session 10. Fertility, Family Planning, Sexual Behavior & Reproductive Health 2