Preventing Unsafe Abor tion 259
Here are some things any woman or group of women can do in
a community to help prevent illness and death from abortion:
• Educate men, women, and the community about how
family planning can help prevent the need for abortion.
Get training to provide family planning services
to women in your community.
• Educate women and girls in your community
about the dangers of unsafe abortion.
• Visit the people in your community who
do abortions to make sure they are doing
• Learn about the complications of abortion and
what to do for them. Find out where to take
a woman in your community for emergency
treatment of complications.
• Find out who could transport a woman
who needs emergency care. If there is
no emergency medical transport, is there
someone in the community with a car
or truck? Store extra containers of fuel
(gas or petrol) for emergencies.
Family planning education can
prevent the need for abortion.
• Keep some of the medicines from page 484 in a village
pharmacy or clinic to treat emergency abortion problems.
If you are a health worker, here are some more suggestions:
• Try to get trained to do MVA, so you can treat women
with abortion complications. Perhaps someone can train
health workers at your local hospital. Do not do abortions
unless you have been trained and have the instruments to do
• Organize health workers in your community to talk with
health authorities about the risks of unsafe abortion.
Even where abortion is not legal, treatment for abortion
complications should be available to save women’s lives.
➤ Encourage women
who are sick to
seek help after an
abortion, not to hide
Treat women who need your help with kindness
Many women who seek help after abortion are refused treatment or treated
very badly. Some are made to feel ashamed or are given no care as ‘punishment’ for
what they have done. Whatever your own beliefs, try not to judge women who have
had an abortion, but rather care for them with compassion. Many of us could have
an unwanted pregnancy at some time in our lives. Treat others as you would want
yourself or your daughter to be treated.
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012