Impact story

Helping to make safe abortion a reality in Zambia

Photo: Dr Ernestina Coast

Zambia has one of the most liberal abortion laws in sub-Saharan Africa. However, in spite of this, unsafe abortion continues to contribute to high rates of maternal mortality. Stigma, poverty, conscientious objectors, and lack of knowledge all contribute to why many adolescent girls and women do not and cannot access safe abortions in Zambia. Through ground-breaking research led by the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), political, media, and charitable organisations are now making changes to raise awareness and shape their frameworks to ensure women can take up their right to access safe abortion services. 

Focus projects: 

Juliet, a mentor at a girls' safe space in Zambia.  flickr.com/photos/dfid/
Unsafe abortion is a significant, preventable, cause of maternal mortality and morbidity and is both a cause and a consequence of poverty. Unsafe abortion is the most easily prevented cause of maternal death. Post-abortion care (PAC) is a strategy to address the problem of the outcomes of unsafe abortion. This research aims to establish how investment in safe abortion services impacts on the socio-economic conditions of women and their households, and the implications for policy-making and service provision in Zambia.
This project aims to maximise the impact of research that has investigated the socio-economic costs of unsafe and safe abortion for women, their households and the Zambian health system.