The Guttmacher Institute (GI) recently sent out emails as part of an advertising campaign, claiming that it is changing the nature of abortion laws in Uganda, a country with traditionally pro-life laws.
The GI invites donations by citing statistics to the effect that increased access to safe, clinical abortion will improve Uganda’s women’s health and financial surplus.
Guttmacher researchers quantified the cost to households and women of medical complications relating to childbirth and abortion procedures with a view toward promoting GI’s work as countering these “back-alley” abortions with clinical alternatives.
But the evidence that GI cites in support of its advertising campaign is shaky enough to invite the question of whether contributing to it really will help improve the maternal mortality rate in Uganda—or so contends a recent C-Fam article. For example, in the past 25 years, the share of maternal deaths owing to abortion procedures has remained fairly stable, between 12 and 15 percent. And maternal mortality rates on the whole have fallen steadily since 1990, in spite of the exacerbating effects of HIV in the 1990s.
Does the GI have enough data to back its advertising boasts that it is changing the debate over abortion in Uganda? Will increasing access to safe, easy, and clinical abortion procedures in Uganda actually improve maternal mortality rates?