Policy paper

Safe and unsafe abortion: UK's policy position on safe and unsafe abortion in developing countries

This note expands on our position regarding safe and unsafe abortion.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government



A central aim of the UK Government’s policy is to empower and enable women and adolescent girls to have sexual and reproductive choices; to avoid unwanted sexual contact, injury and infection; to make informed decisions about childbearing; and to face fewer risks in the course of pregnancy and childbirth. But millions of women still do not have access to good quality contraceptives, or have no control over the circumstances in which they become pregnant. Many die as a result of unsafe abortion; many more are permanently injured. Lowering abortion-related maternal death is a key way to reduce overall maternal mortality as nearly all deaths from unsafe abortion are preventable. There is strong evidence of the high cost that unsafe abortion imposes upon health services, women and their families. This note expands on our position regarding safe and unsafe abortion.

Published 27 June 2014