ScholarRx Statement on Access to Safe Abortion and Why it Matters

At ScholarRx, we believe that by improving medical education, we are building a healthier world. Unfortunately, one of the building blocks of a healthier world is consistently under attack: sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Sexual and reproductive health and rights are central to the health and well-being of patients and communities. It reflects not only the ability to exercise rights related to sexuality and reproduction, but also the ability to make informed decisions and have full access to sexual and reproductive health services. This includes access to safe abortion.

Each year, nearly 25 million unsafe abortions take place, representing just under half of all abortions worldwide. As many as 25% of women and girls who undergo unsafe abortion are likely to develop temporary or lifelong physical and emotional health problems.

Lack of access to abortion does not lead to a decrease in abortion, it only increases the danger to people’s health and lives. Evidence suggests that whether or not it is legal, patients will seek ways to induce an abortion if necessary. And in countries with highly restrictive abortion laws, the proportion of unsafe abortions is significantly higher, with profoundly harmful effects for its citizens.

Through MeSAGE, the Medical Student Alliance for Global Education, we develop educational content to address societal needs and global health issues. We have a collection on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, including a module on Safe Abortion. We encourage future health professionals to reflect on the related social and ethical issues and learn about the health implications of unsafe abortion. Together we can build a healthier and more equitable world.