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Unsafe Abortion Identified As Second Major Killer Of Pregnant Women

Addis Tribune (Addis Ababa), 16 March 2001

Addis Ababa—The Ethiopian Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology disclosed that unsafe abortion was one of the major killers of pregnant women in Ethiopia.

Dr. Yirgu Gebrehiwot, honorary secretary of the association said at a panel that unsafe abortion accounted for about 54 percent of the mortality among pregnant women.

He indicated that unsafe abortion, conducted mostly by traditional practioners under unhygienic conditions and using unsafe means was only second to Tuberculosis as cause of fatality for pregnant women.

Dr. Yirgu’s disclosure came at a panel discussion, which discussed unsafe abortion last Monday and Tuesday. It was attended by representatives of women’s associations, religious institutions, civic organizations, among others.

It was reported that among the major causes for Ethiopian women to seek abortion is desperation resulting from dispute with partners, and cultural norms that make it taboo to bear a child before marriage and out of wed-lock.

The panel discussion was organized by the Ethiopian Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the Packard Foundation and the Walta Information Centre.