Access to safe abortion is severely restricted in many countries, which can lead pregnant young girls who wish to terminate their pregnancy, to go through unsafe abortions, risking their health and lives.
Data on abortion among 10-14 year olds is very scarce, but it is estimated that 3.2 million unsafe abortions occur to adolescents aged 15-19 year olds every year. The vast majority (98%) of unsafe abortions take place in developing countries. Even where legal, safe abortion services can be scare and difficult to access, particularly for young people.
Compared to adults who have unsafe abortions, adolescents are more likely to experience complications such as excessive blood loss, infection, sepsis, internal organ damage, sterility and death. Reasons include that adolescents are more likely to wait for a longer period of time before they have an abortion; they are more likely to have an unskilled person perform it; to use dangerous methods; and to delay seeking care when complications arise.
Therefore, adolescents make up a large proportion of patients in hospitals with complications from unsafe abortions. In some developing countries, hospital records show that adolescents make up between 38 per cent and 68 per cent of those hospitalized with complications of abortion.