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The Chilean abortion paradox

Legal restriction of abortion has a negative connotation since the idea of women resorting to -risking their own lives- is strongly rooted in the public opinion worldwide. However, a series of independently peer-reviewed articles, challenge this notion in some countries. The latest data in this subject have been discussed by the Chilean epidemiologist Elard Koch, Director of Research of the , in the current issue of the official journal of the . The research shows that not only abortion-related mortality continued its decreasing trend in after its prohibition by law in 1989, but also hospital discharges due to abortion have significantly decreased during the last decade.

[Change in the Incidence of Hospital Discharges Due to Abortion in Chile between 2001 and 2010]
This official data was obtained from the Ministry of Health of the Government of Chile.
Credit: MELISA Institute


del aborto y su prevención en Chile [Epidemiology of abortion and its prevention in Chile]. (in press)

Koch E, Thorp J, Bravo M, Gatica S, Romero CX, Aguilera H, Ahlers I. Women’s Education Level, Maternal Health Facilities, Abortion Legislation and Maternal Deaths: A Natural Experiment in Chile from 1957 to 2007 . PLoS ONE 7(5):e36613. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0036613.

MELISA Institute