HC Deb 08 June 1995 vol 261 c305W
Mr. Alton

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what information he has on the numbers estimated to have died from illegal abortion, in the last year for which figures are available, by the World Health Organisation and the United Nations Fund for Population Activities; and on what basis their figures were calculated; [27240]

(2) what is his Department's estimate on the number of women who die worldwide annually from illegal abortion; and what is the basis for this figure. [27239]

Mr. Baldry

Estimates of deaths resulting from the termination of pregnancy—whether legal or illegal—are based on information collated by the World Health Organisation. The quality of data is very uncertain as there is a reluctance to attribute death to abortion where it is illegal. Although earlier estimates suggested that up to 200,000 women may die, per year, from abortion, a study, undertaken by WHO last year—based on data sources such as hospital admission records and maternal mortality studies—estimated that 70,000 women die each year as a result of complications following unsafe abortions.

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