Reuters: Uganda women unable to get contraception, dying from unsafe abortions

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By Katy Nigiro
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NAIROBI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Uganda has one of the world’s highest unmet needs for contraception, leading almost 300,000 women to seek backstreet abortions each year - with many dying as a result, the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) said in a new report released on Wednesday.

With four out of 10 women not wanting to get pregnant - yet not using contraception - Uganda’s unmet need for family planning is the second highest in the world after Samoa, according to the United Nations. One in five pregnancies in Uganda is terminated in an unsafe abortion, while abortions account for one in four maternal deaths.

“Women use crude ways. They insert whatever objects, they take herbs, whatever, to force [the] foetus to come out,” Maureen, a maternal health advocate told CRR in its report on unsafe abortion and inadequate access to contraception in Uganda.

Other methods include sitting in a solution of detergent and drinking bleach, according to the report, which said an estimated 297,000 induced abortions occur in Uganda each year.

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