New Abortion Safety Standards From The World Health Organization

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently announced new abortion safety standards in an effort to reduce the number of unsafe abortions taking place around the world. While the WHO’s mission is to promote health and safety for all people, it recognizes that abortion is still a common practice in many countries and that it is essential to ensure the safety of those who do choose to terminate pregnancies. The new standards are aimed at providing countries with guidance on how to reduce the risks associated with abortion and improve access to safe services.  For more information visit us,

The new standards are based on the WHO’s Safe Abortion: Technical and Policy Guidance for Health Systems, which was published in 2012. These standards are meant to provide a comprehensive approach to abortion safety. They include recommendations on improving access to safe abortion services, including the use of modern methods of contraception and the provision of post-abortion care. The standards also recommend that countries ensure access to a range of abortion methods and services, including medication abortion and manual vacuum aspiration.

Overview Of Recent World Health Organization (Who) Safety Standards 

The World Health Organization (WHO) has released comprehensive safety standards for safe abortions that medical professionals must adhere to in order to ensure women’s safety. These standards are aimed at reducing the global burden of unsafe abortion and ensuring that women receive quality care and services. The WHO safety standards include a number of evidence-based guidelines that must be followed in order to provide a safe and effective abortion. These standards include the following: 

1. Informed Consent

All women must be provided with accurate and comprehensive information about the risks and benefits of abortion in order for them to make an informed decision. This includes a discussion of the physical and psychological implications of the procedure. 

2. Quality of Care

Medical professionals must adhere to professional standards of care in order to ensure the safety of all women undergoing abortion. This includes proper counselling and follow-up care. 

3. Availability of Services

Medical professionals must ensure that abortion services are available to all women in need. This includes referrals to other services if needed. 

4. Accessibility

Medical professionals must provide abortion services in a timely manner, regardless of the woman’s socio-economic status or geographic location.

WHO Safety Standards 

Definition Of Safe Abortion 

Safe abortion is defined as the medical termination of pregnancy in a way that is safe for both the woman and the foetus. It involves the use of medications and procedures that are proven to be safe and effective when used correctly and under the guidance of a healthcare professional. Safe abortion is a fundamental human right and an essential element of women’s reproductive health care. It is a safe and effective alternative to unsafe abortion, which can lead to serious health complications and death. 

Medically safe abortion is typically carried out using a combination of medications and/or surgical procedures. The most common option is medical abortion, which involves taking a combination of two medications, mifepristone and misoprostol, to end a pregnancy. This method is effective up to 10 weeks from the last menstrual period. Surgical abortion is typically carried out after 10 weeks of gestation and involves removing the contents of the uterus with a vacuum aspiration procedure. This method is usually done under general or local anaesthesia. To ensure safe abortion, it is important that women have access to comprehensive and accurate information about the procedure and its risks and benefits, as well as access to a trained healthcare professional.

Guidelines For Safe Abortion 

Safe abortion is a medical procedure carried out to end a pregnancy. It is important to ensure that the procedure is carried out in a safe and responsible manner. The following guidelines should be followed to ensure safe abortion: 

1. Seek Medical Advice

Before considering abortion, it is important to seek medical advice from a qualified professional. This will help to assess the stage of pregnancy and provide guidance on the best course of action. 

2. Consider All Options

Abortion is a serious decision and should not be taken lightly. It is important to consider all options and weigh up the pros and cons before making a decision. This includes exploring alternatives such as adoption. 

3. Use A Qualified Practitioner

It is important to use a qualified practitioner to ensure the procedure is carried out safely and legally. They should be experienced and knowledgeable in the abortion procedure. 

4. Follow The Aftercare

After the procedure, it is important to follow the aftercare instructions provided by the practitioner. This includes taking medications as prescribed and follow-up visits. 

5. Seek Emotional Support

Abortion can be an emotionally traumatic experience and it is important to seek emotional support from family and friends. Counselling and other forms of therapy can also be beneficial in helping to process the experience.

Benefits Of Safety Standards 

Safety standards are essential in providing safe abortion care. They provide a framework to ensure that abortion services are provided in a safe and effective manner, thus safeguarding both the patient and the health care provider. Safety standards promote quality of care by ensuring that personnel are properly trained and that proper equipment is available to provide safe abortions. The standards also provide guidance on how to diagnose and treat complications, how to provide post-abortion counselling, and how to perform follow-up care.

Safety standards provide guidance on the proper disposal of medical waste and the use of appropriate infection control measures. Safety standards can also be used to inform policy decisions. For example, safety standards can be used to inform regulations on the use of medication abortion, the availability of abortion services, and the management of complications. 

Safety standards can help ensure that appropriate resources are available to provide safe abortion care, such as access to appropriate medications, equipment, and personnel. Safety standards can also be used to monitor and evaluate the quality of services provided. They provide a common language and framework to evaluate the performance of health care providers and to ensure that they are providing safe and effective services.

Improved Abortion Access 

Improved abortion access refers to the availability of comprehensive abortion services and the removal of legal and practical barriers that prevent women from accessing them. This includes ensuring that women have access to safe and legal abortion services, as well as the right to make their own decisions about their reproductive health. 

In order to improve abortion access, governments and health providers should make sure that abortion services are offered through public health systems, and that they are adequately funded. This would ensure that even women who cannot afford to pay for private abortion services can access abortion. Additionally, governments should also remove legal and practical barriers to abortion, like parental consent requirements, waiting periods, and biassed counselling requirements. 

In addition to making abortion services more accessible, it is also important to provide comprehensive information about abortion to women and to ensure that they have access to effective, safe, and affordable contraception. This would help to reduce the need for abortions by preventing unintended pregnancies in the first place. Governments should also ensure that abortion providers are properly trained and supported, and that they have the necessary resources to provide quality care.

Increased Safety For Patients 

Increased safety for patients is a priority in healthcare organisations. There are a number of measures that can be taken to ensure safety for patients. 

  • Organisations should have clear and effective policies and procedures in place to ensure patient safety. These policies should include guidelines for risk assessment and management, incident reporting, and patient identification. These policies should be regularly reviewed and updated to reflect any changes in regulations or industry best practices. 
  • Organisations should ensure that staff are adequately trained in patient safety protocols and procedures. Regular training sessions should be conducted to ensure that staff are knowledgeable and competent in the safety protocols in place. This training should include topics such as infection control, patient hygiene, medication safety, and communication. 
  • Organisations should use technology to improve patient safety. This could include implementing electronic medical records and computerised physician order entry systems, which can help reduce medication errors and prevent duplicate medication orders. 
  • Organisations should consider using monitoring systems, such as temperature and oxygen sensors, to monitor patients’ vital signs and detect changes in their health. 


The World Health Organization’s new abortion safety standards provide a major step forward in protecting the rights of women and improving public health. These standards provide a comprehensive framework for healthcare providers to ensure safe and legal abortions for all women. By introducing these standards, the World Health Organization is taking a powerful stance in support of women’s health and in favour of reproductive rights.