Nigeria, Ghana top world abortion pill searches - Report - Full Gist News

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Thursday, 7 June 2018

Nigeria, Ghana top world abortion pill searches - Report





  • 22,800 women die annually from complications


Global online searches for abortion pills have more than doubled over the last decade with Nigeria and Ghana being the two countries with the highest search interest in Misoprostol, according to the Google data.

The findings also suggest that in countries where abortion laws are more restrictive, there is greater search interest in abortion pills. By buying pills online and sharing medical advice through WhatsApp groups, women are increasingly turning to technology to sidestep legal barriers to abortion.

At least 22,800 women die each year from complications of unsafe abortion, the Guttmacher Institute reported. This is the modern face of the so-called Do It Yourself abortion (DIY abortion). BBC analysis of Google searches shows that countries with the strictest laws, where abortion is allowed only to save a woman’s life or banned altogether, have over 10 times higher search interest in abortion pill Misoprostol compared to countries with no restrictions.

Nigeria, Ghana top world abortion pill searches - Report

About 14% of all abortions were “least safe”, which means they were provided by untrained persons using dangerous methods, such as the introduction of foreign objects and use of herbal concoctions.
Ghana only allows abortions in cases of rape, incest, foetal impairment or to preserve a woman’s mental health. Nigeria is stricter still: abortion is only allowed in situations where a woman’s life is in danger. Of the 25 countries with highest search interest in Misoprostol, 11 are in Africa and 14 in Latin America. All but two, Zambia and Mozambique either ban abortions altogether or allow them only to save a woman’s life or health.

The findings also suggest that in countries where abortion laws are more restrictive, there is greater search interest in abortion pills. By buying pills online and sharing medical advice through WhatsApp groups, women are increasingly turning to technology to sidestep legal barriers to abortion.
There are two main methods of inducing abortion; surgical and medical. A medical abortion typically involves taking a combination of pills, Misoprostol and Mifeprostone, to induce a miscarriage. Misoprostol can also go by brand names like Cytotec.

While women in countries such as the UK will be prescribed this combination by a doctor, women searching for and purchasing the pills online in countries where access to abortion is restricted are often breaking the law, risking severe punishments.



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