Implementing and expanding safe abortion care: An international comparative case study of six countries

Wendy Chavkin, Bianca M. Stifani, David Bridgman-Packer, Jamie M.S. Greenberg, Mary Favier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


We conducted a comparative case study-based investigation of health sector strategies that were useful in expanding or establishing new abortion services. We selected geographically diverse countries from across the human development index if they had implemented new abortion laws, or changed interpretations of existing laws or policies, within the past 15 years (Colombia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Portugal, South Africa, and Uruguay). Factors facilitating the expansion of services include use of a public health frame, situating abortion as one component of a comprehensive reproductive health package, and including country-based health and women's rights organizations, medical and other professional societies, and international agencies and nongovernment organizations in the design and rollout of services. Task sharing and the use of techniques that do not require much infrastructure, such as manual vacuum aspiration and medical abortion, are important for rapid establishment of services, especially in low-resource settings. Political will emerged as the key factor in establishing or expanding access to safe abortion services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-11
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics
StatePublished - Oct 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Colombia
  • Ethiopia
  • Ghana
  • Implementation
  • Portugal
  • Safe abortion
  • South Africa
  • Uruguay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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