0 abortion not permitted
1 to save a woman's life
2 to preserve physical health and to save a woman's life
3 to preserve mental health and above
4 in case of rape and incest and most of the above
5 in case of rape and incest and above
6 in case of foetal impairment and most of the above
7 in case of foetal impairment and above
8 for economic and social reasons and most of the above
9 for economic and social reasons and the above
10 on request
1 More than 1 in 20
2 1 in 20 to 1 to 49
3 1 in 50 to 1 in 499
4 1 in 500 to 1 in 1,999
5 1 in 2,000 to 1 in 4,999
6 Less than 1 in 5,000
7 No Data

Legal Grounds for Abortion

What does it mean ?

This indicator shows the legal status of abortion in each country by categorising the grounds on which abortion is allowed into the following groups:

  • abortion not permitted
  • to save a woman's life
  • to preserve physical health and to save a woman's life
  • to preserve mental health and above
  • in case of rape and incest and most of the above
  • in case of rape and incest and above
  • in case of foetal impairment and most of the above
  • in case of foetal impairment and above
  • for economic and social reasons and most of the above
  • for economic and social reasons and the above
  • on request

Why does it matter ?

The legal status of abortion is an important indicator of women's ability to enjoy their reproductive rights. Legal restrictions on abortion often cause high levels of illegal and unsafe abortion, and there is a proven link between unsafe abortion and maternal mortality. There is strong evidence that legal restrictions do not stop women from having abortions, driving them instead to seek unsafe and illegal procedures which risk their lives.

How is it collected ?

The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, Policy Section collects these data every 2 years via their World Population Policies Database.

Findings are disseminated under the website: https://esa.un.org/PopPolicy/about_database.aspx

Download their database from this website for detailed data on grounds for abortion for individual countries.

United Nations, World Population Policies Database. http://esa.un.org/poppolicy/about_database.aspx

Lifetime Risk of Maternal Mortality (2015)

What does it mean ?

The Lifetime Risk of Maternal Mortality is the probability that a 15 year- old girl will die eventually from a maternal cause (any cause related to pregnancy, during childbirth, pregnancy or within 42 days of childbirth), assuming that current levels of fertility and mortality do not change during her lifetime. In high fertility societies the risk is higher because on average women go through the risk associated with pregnancy and childbirth many times in their life.

Why does it matter ?

Problems during pregnancy and childbirth are a leading cause of death and disability of women of reproductive age (15-49 years) in low income countries. This indicator acts as a marker of how likely it is to face death related to pregnancy and childbirth and reflects the ability of a country's healthcare system to provide safe care during pregnancy and childbirth.

How is it collected ?

In high income countries the data for Lifetime Risk of Maternal Mortality are from national registers of deaths to women, with maternal death as the cause. Also required in the calculation is the probability of becoming pregnant (fertility rates by age).To calculate LTR, the cumulative probability over a whole life time of becoming pregnant and dying from the pregnancy is there for calculated by summing over all reproductive ages the probabilities of becoming pregnant and dying of maternal causes

Trends in Maternal Mortality: 1990 to 2015 Estimates by WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, World Bank Group and the United Nations Population Division (2015) http://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/publications/monitoring/maternal-mortality-2015/en/