Collections > Master's Papers > Gillings School of Public Health > 2012 World Health Organization Safe Abortion Guidance: The Need for Monitoring and Evaluation
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Unsafe abortion persistently ranks as one of the highest predictors of maternal death. Complications from unsafe abortion account for 13 percent of global maternal mortality, and have remained unchanged from 2003 to the present. A need for hope, resolve, research, and legalization of safe abortion policies within developing countries must be a global priority. Negative health consequences exist when restrictive practices and policies limit a woman’s right and access to safe abortion, to reproductive autonomy, and to health. Access to family planning methods and contraceptive education are essential elements to decrease the need for abortion; however, these tools will not eliminate the need for safe abortion. As one of the global leaders in the creation and publication of clinical and technical guidelines, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued their second edition in 2012 of Safe Abortion: Technical and Policy Guidance for Health Systems to promote access and provide guidance to improve safe abortion services for all women and adolescents. This paper explores the dissemination and application strategies of WHO’s Guidance for Safe Abortion through the WHO Strategic Approach to Strengthening Sexual and Reproductive Health Policies and Programmes and attempts to examine common barriers countries experience when implementing the Guidance. Currently, the Guidance is not monitored or evaluated, which demonstrates a serious gap in implementing safe abortion practices. In conclusion, the paper offers the preliminary development of an implementation tool to assist countries in adopting WHO safe abortion recommendations and bridge the gap between safe and unsafe practices.