My Body, My Voice: Women's safe abortion experiences

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At MSI, we work hard to make sure women and girls around the world have access to high-quality, safe abortion. But too often, women face barriers that make it harder to get the care they need.

That’s why last year, we asked almost 2,000 women, across Africa, Asia and Latin America, about their experiences of having an abortion at one of our centers. Their responses provide a unique insight into what women face every day in accessing abortion care worldwide.

Today, we release this new report, "My Body, My Voice." Here are a few key findings.

Who needs access to safe abortions? All of us. But it’s often hard to get.

  • Globally, one in four women will have an abortion in their lifetime. Women require safe abortions throughout their reproductive lives, from students seeking to stay in education to married women juggling the needs of their family.
  • Women who choose to have abortions can face stigma from their partner, their community and even in some cases their providers. Nearly one in four women reported some form of stigma (23.4%). Single women were five times more likely to experience stigma than married women.
  • Safe abortions can be difficult to access. Women traveled further to access safe abortion care than women seeking contraception. They also found it harder to gather funds for their abortion.

Building awareness of safe abortion.

  • Knowledge of safe services remains limited: 54.7% of women who visited us did not know of an alternative abortion provider.
  • Technology is critical to expanding awareness of safe abortion services: 28.9% of women found information about services via the internet and social media. At a time when anti-choice groups are spreading misinformation, we must provide accurate, timely information online.
  • More than 30% of our abortion clients found out about us from a government or private facility. This shows the importance of creating partnerships with the public and private sectors.

How we can improve access to safe abortion.

  • Many women are unaware that safe abortion is legally available, leading them to unsafe methods. We need to support awareness-building efforts and create referral networks so women know where to go, safely.
  • Legal restrictions can prevent women from accessing safe care. We work in partnership with governments to remove policy restrictions and expand access to underserved communities.
  • All women and girls must have true choice over their reproductive options, with tailored counseling on both surgical and medical abortion. We'll continue working to support women before, during and after the procedure.
An MSI safe abortion provider stands in a center.

"My decisions, my path, my steps." Abortion provider Susana at an MSI center in Mexico.

Click here to read the full report, or learn more about it on the MSI Global website.

Our Global Impact Last Year

30.2million

women using a MSI
method of contraception

12.3million

unintended pregnancies
prevented

6.4million

unsafe abortions prevented

32,046

maternal deaths prevented