ERIC Number: ED328509
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Jul
The Global Politics of Abortion. Worldwatch Paper 97.
Jacobson, Jodi L.
Locating the issue of abortion in a global public policy context, with the array of public health, human rights, and social questions that are implicated, is the aim of this paper. Abortion laws around the world have been liberalized since the 1950s, with a resultant decrease in abortion-related mortality among women. The proportion of the world's population, governed by laws that permit abortion on medical or broader social and economic grounds, is 75 percent (nearly 4 billion people). In addition to women living in those countries that have resisted liberalization of their abortion laws, many women have restricted access to abortion, even those in countries in which abortion is technically legal. There are a number of reasons for this, including a lack of government or public commitment to provide or fund services, lack of trained specialists, administrative roadblocks, a woman's ability to pay, and a lack of truthful information about legal rights and services. Abortion rates from countries around the world are examined and discussed in terms of the varying demographic and social realities. The large number of maternal deaths due to abortion that still occur is not due to a deficiency in technology, but a deficiency in the value placed on women's lives. The numerous roadblocks to safe abortion services drive women to seek illegal or clandestine abortions that greatly endanger their lives. The debate surrounding abortion has been too often portrayed as a conflict between black and white hues. The debate needs to take place in a larger context, complete with public health, family planning, and human rights concerns. Equality of political rights for women, and likely the lives of many, hinges on political decisions regarding abortion. (DB)
Descriptors: Abortions, Current Events, Family Planning, Foreign Countries, Global Approach, International Studies, Moral Issues, Political Issues, Public Health, Social Problems, Womens Studies, World Affairs, World Problems
Worldwatch Institute, 1776 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20036 ($4.00).
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Worldwatch Inst., Washington, DC.