The social and political sensitivity of the issue of abortion means that carrying out high quality research on abortion is difficult. Underreporting is variable but often high, whether the source is surveys of individuals or facilities or official data collection systems. Yet, research on abortion is important from a number of perspectives: from the demographic perspective because it is a key component of fertility control and of unintended pregnancy; from the mortality and morbidity perspective because unsafe abortion practice is a significant contributor to maternal morbidity and mortality; and from the service perspective, because it is a useful indicator of need for improved contraceptive and abortion services. There is a current need to assess, build on and further stimulate the development of innovative data collection approaches and analysis and estimation techniques. Initiatives are also needed to link and integrate current research on this topic which is occurring in very different and often unconnected areas and disciplines.
The panel's objective is to stimulate and advance research on abortion by bringing together researchers who are working on different aspects of the topic, and who are using different methodologies and approaches. The panel proposes to organize three scientific meetings each focused on advancing knowledge, methodologies and collaboration. Seminars will include research in both developed and developing countries. Each seminar will address an area of abortion research that is both high priority and that is at a stage where it would benefit greatly from scientific exchange. The three areas are: (a) measurement of abortion incidence, abortion-related morbidity and mortality; (b) interrelationships between abortion, unintended pregnancy and contraception; and (c) health, social and economic consequences of unsafe abortion.
International Seminar: The Health, Social and Economic Consequences of Unsafe Abortion
San Juan del Rio, Mexico, 10-12 November 2010
International Seminar: Interrelationships between contraception, unintended pregnancy and induced abortion
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 1-3 December 2008
International Seminar: Measurement of abortion incidence, abortion-related morbidity and mortality,
Paris, France, 7-9 November 2007
Seminar Programme and Papers
Publication (available online): Methodologies for Estimating Abortion Incidence and Abortion-Related Morbidity: A Review, edited by Susheela Singh, Lisa Remez and Alyssa Tartaglione.