The recent Guttmacher Institute publication In Brief: Unintended Pregnancy and Abortion in Uganda details how the high rates of unintended pregnancies and unsafe abortions in Uganda impact health outcomes. The evidence presented in this brief shows that the rate of abortion in Uganda is approximately 1 per every 19 women of reproductive age, which is much higher than the average in Eastern Africa. While abortion is legal under certain circumstances in Uganda, the policy guidelines are unclear to women and service providers, which inhibits women from obtaining safe abortion services. Thus, complications resulting from unsafe abortion lead to high rates of maternal morbidity and mortality, and increased need for PAC services.
IRIN Africa circulated a news article related to the Guttmacher brief, which referred to the high cost of providing comprehensive PAC services to treat serious medical complications arising from unsafe abortion in Uganda. The authors recommend that Ugandan courts and policymakers need to clarify the abortion policies and work with health professionals to translate policy into practice, which may include expanding access to safe abortion services. It is also noted that more attention is needed to meeting the contraceptive needs of women in Uganda.