The Chilean Paradox

We’ve learned that restricting abortions leads to an increase in illegal abortions and an increase in complications from unsafe illegal abortions. Chile prohibited abortion in 1989. However, the number of hospitalizations due to abortion complications has declined by two percent every year since 2001. What do you think could be some reasons for this paradox?

One thought on “The Chilean Paradox

  1. I think a lot of it probably has to do with Chile’s effort to improve other aspects of maternal health, like access to contraceptives. This is interesting because oftentimes people who oppose abortion are also unwilling to expand access to contraceptives. So although I’m frustrated with Chile’s criminalization of abortion, I am glad they are at least trying to expand access to other family planning methods. However, I think a lot of it also has to do with the method of performing illegal abortions. The article mentioned that misoprostol is the most common method of illegal abortion. Although it’s always dangerous to take a prescription medication without the guidance of a healthcare provider, it is much safer to take misoprostol than to attempt to terminate a pregnancy manually (such as with a coat hanger or other device, which can cause infection or damage organs). Misoprostol can have complications, but they aren’t very common. Also, access to information about the drug has greatly increased over the years.

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