Guttmacher Institute


The Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation
Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD) CEPED
Women's Health And Action Research Centre
Bixby Center for Population Health and Sustainability, UC Berkeley

IUSSP Secretariat

International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP)

Council Liaison

El Colegio de Mexico

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.

Programme of activities

International Seminar: The Health, Social and Economic Consequences of Unsafe Abortion 
San Juan del Rio, Mexico, 10-12 November 2010

Seminar Papers 

Seminar Report

International Seminar: Interrelationships between contraception, unintended pregnancy and induced abortion 
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 1-3 December 2008

Seminar Papers

Seminar Report

International Seminar: Measurement of abortion incidence, abortion-related morbidity and mortality,
Paris, France, 7-9 November 2007

Seminar Programme and Papers

Seminar Report

Publication (available online): Methodologies for Estimating Abortion Incidence and Abortion-Related Morbidity: A Review, edited by Susheela Singh, Lisa Remez and Alyssa Tartaglione.