The Options for Pregnancy Termination Innovation Initiative (OPTions Initiative) supports Bold Ideas with Big Impact®. We seek innovative and transformative approaches that put women, girls and people with diverse sexual and gender identities in control of where, when, and how they terminate their pregnancy where there are one or more legal grounds to support it.
The impact of unsafe abortion on women, girls and people with diverse sexual and gender identities is profound. There are more than 25 million unsafe abortions performed annually, the vast majority of which – about 97% – occur in the low- and middle-income countries. As a result, approximately 7 million women and girls are admitted to health facilities with complications. Another 22,800 to 31,000 women and girls die annually from unsafe abortions, making it one of the leading global causes of maternal mortality.
Access to comprehensive abortion services and post abortion care using current approaches is often limited due to a wide range of barriers, such as cost, availability, accessibility, stigma, inefficient supply chains and poor information systems among others. Furthermore, there is limited choice in terms of the method of abortion. There are presently only three methods of pregnancy termination: dilation and curettage (D&C), vacuum aspiration, and medical abortion (pill form). While effective, these current approaches do not represent choice or variety to meet the range of needs of women at different phases of life, sexual activity or needs for privacy. Lack of choice and access to safe abortion information, products and services collectively contribute to the staggering number of deaths and disabilities seen annually as a result of unsafe abortion.