Elsevier has announced the publication of Reproductive Health Matters 2008 Supplement on the theme of "Second trimester abortion: women's health and public policy". Second trimester abortion raises complex issues regarding methods, values, stigma, the burden on providers of service delivery and the sometimes complicated reality of women's lives and decisions. This issue of Reproductive Health Matters grew out of a conference on second trimester abortion convened in London in 2007 by the International Consortium on Medical Abortion and attended by 90 expert clinicians and advocates from all over the world.
In many countries, legislation prohibits or restricts the grounds for second trimester abortions. Instead of preventing women from having abortions, these laws often force them to risk their lives doing so. There will always be women who need abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy, but the numbers diminish greatly by 20 weeks, and become rare after 24 weeks.
Abortion-related deaths have been declining globally in the past three decades because many more countries now have safe, legal abortion. Methods have become substantially safer and simpler, more providers have been trained, and women with complications are more likely to seek and to receive medical help, even where abortion is still legally restricted.
This issue calls for the need for second trimester abortion to be met in a safe, timely and sympathetic manner In-depth, country-based research is needed, to bring out the facts on second trimester abortion, as evidence of why it should be treated as a legitimate form of women's health care and supported in public health policy. Papers in this supplement cover the law and safety of second trimester abortion; women's and providers' perspectives; policy, politics and values; moving from unsafe to safe service delivery; currently recommended methods; methods that should go out of use; and recommendations for advocacy and action from the ICMA conference.
- A critical appraisal of laws on second trimester abortion
- Reasons for second trimester abortions in England and Wales
- A week in the life of an abortion doctor, Western Cape Province, South Africa
- Decision-making after ultrasound diagnosis of fetal abnormality
- Fetal pain: do we know enough to do the right thing?
About Reproductive Health Matters (RHM)
Reproductive Health Matters is published twice a year, in May and November in English, with editions in translation in Arabic, Chinese, French, Hindi, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. RHM covers laws, policies, research and services that meet women's reproductive health needs. Each issue focuses on a main theme and includes feature papers, topical papers on other subjects and a round-up of information from published literature.
Elsevier is a world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services. Working in partnership with the global science and health communities, Elsevier's 7,000 employees in over 70 offices worldwide publish more than 2,000 journals and 1,900 new books per year, in addition to offering a suite of innovative electronic products, such as ScienceDirect (http://www.sciencedirect.com/), MD Consult (http://www.mdconsult.com/), Scopus (http://www.info.scopus.com/), bibliographic databases, and online reference works.
Elsevier (http://www.elsevier.com/) is a global business headquartered in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and has offices worldwide. Elsevier is part of Reed Elsevier Group plc (http://www.reedelsevier.com/), a world-leading publisher and information provider. Operating in the science and medical, legal, education and business-to-business sectors, Reed Elsevier provides high-quality and flexible information solutions to users, with increasing emphasis on the Internet as a means of delivery. Reed Elsevier's ticker symbols are REN (Euronext Amsterdam), REL (London Stock Exchange), RUK and ENL (New York Stock Exchange).
Source: Minke Havelaar