Skip to main content

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated Cookie policy, Privacy policy and Terms & Conditions

The Real Abortion Tragedy

Abortion receives extensive media coverage in developed countries, especially in the United States, where Republicans have used opposition to it to rally voters. But much less attention is given to the 86% of all abortions that occur in the developing world.

MELBOURNE – In the Dominican Republic last month, a pregnant teenager suffering from leukemia had her chemotherapy delayed, because doctors feared that the treatment could terminate her pregnancy and therefore violate the nation’s strict anti-abortion law. After consultations between doctors, lawyers, and the girl’s family, chemotherapy eventually was begun, but not before attention had again been focused on the rigidity of many developing countries’ abortion laws.

Abortion receives extensive media coverage in developed countries, especially in the United States, where Republicans have used opposition to it to rally voters. Recently, President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign counter-attacked, releasing a television advertisement in which a woman says that it is “a scary time to be a woman,” because Mitt Romney has said that he supports outlawing abortion.

But much less attention is given to the 86% of all abortions that occur in the developing world. Although a majority of countries in Africa and Latin America have laws prohibiting abortion in most circumstances, official bans do not prevent high abortion rates.

We hope you're enjoying Project Syndicate.

To continue reading, subscribe now.

Subscribe

Get unlimited access to PS premium content, including in-depth commentaries, book reviews, exclusive interviews, On Point, the Big Picture, the PS Archive, and our annual year-ahead magazine.

https://prosyn.org/swVx0jI;
  1. op_dervis1_Mikhail SvetlovGetty Images_PutinXiJinpingshakehands Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

    Cronies Everywhere

    Kemal Derviş

    Three recent books demonstrate that there are as many differences between crony-capitalist systems as there are similarities. And while deep-seated corruption is usually associated with autocracies like modern-day Russia, democracies have no reason to assume that they are immune.

    7