Documenting the Cost of Abortion in Colombia: A Comparison of Costs in the Provision of Postabortion Care and of Legal Abortions

Isaac Maddow-Zimet, Guttmacher Institute
Fatima Juarez, El Colegio de México
Elena Prada, Guttmacher Institute

Despite the Constitutional Court’s decision in 2006 to lift the abortion ban, women’s health in Colombia is still jeopardized by limited access to legal abortion. Recent evidence shows that less than 1% of the 400,000 induced abortions in 2008 were legal. Moreover, Colombian medical professionals continue relying on D&C for abortion services and PAC rather than the WHO-recommended method of MVA The aim of this study is to document the comparative costs of a) legal abortion vs. the cost of treating complications due to unsafe abortion, and b) document the costs of using modern (MVA) vs. older (D&C) techniques. Findings will allow us to provide evidence to dispel erroneous allegations associated with the provision of legal abortions, to help remove barriers for accessing safe abortion services and to investigate the extent to which using a modern (MVA) vs. older (D&C) technique represents lower costs to the health system.

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Presented in Session 34: The Cost of Unsafe Abortion in Developing Countries