Abortion rates were lowest in Western Europe -- 12 per 1,000 -- and highest in Eastern Europe -- 43 per 1,000. The rate in North America was 19 per 1,000. Sedgh said she and colleagues found a link between higher abortion rates and regions with more restrictive legislation, such as in Latin America and Africa. They also found that 95 to 97 percent of abortions in those regions were unsafe[, defined as] any procedure done by people lacking needed skills or in places that don't meet minimal medical standards.The researchers' conclusion: "It is precisely where abortion is illegal that it must become safer," and providing education and birth control universally will go a long, long way.
The full text of the study is available free with registration at The Lancet's website.