Quality of abortion
Abortion care must be safe, timely, affordable, non-discriminatory and respectful. Quality of abortion care is foundational to this abortion care guideline. Quality of care is defined as care that is: effective, efficient, accessible, acceptable/patient centered, equitable and safe.See More
The abortion care pathway
Comprehensive abortion care includes provision of information, abortion management (including induced abortion and care related to pregnancy loss), and post-abortion care. This guideline includes recommendations for different abortion indications, and for different stages of the continuum of care (the “who”, “what”, “where” and “how”).See More
Quality abortion care is supported by an enabling environment. The three cornerstones of an enabling environment are: (1) respect for human rights including a supportive framework of law and policy; (2) the availability and accessibility of information; and (3) a supportive, universally accessible, affordable and well functioning health system.See More
What is new in the 2022 guidelines
If you've previously worked with the 2012 Safe abortion guideline, benefit from starting here for a quick glance at what's new, updated, or unchanged.
Incomplete abortion management recommendations
Medical management of induced abortion
Background and context
Sexual and reproductive health is fundamental to individuals, couples and families, and to the social and economic development of communities and nations.
One element of an enabling environment is that law and policy promote and protect sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).
Medical management of missed abortion
Missed abortion is when a pregnancy stops developing and the cervical os is closed. Symptoms may include pain, bleeding or no symptoms at all.
Conceptual structure of the guideline
As illustrated above, this guideline is centred on the values and preferences of abortion seekers, and considers them as active participants in as well as beneficiaries of health services. This guidance emphasizes that – as a woman, girl or other pregnant person moves through the abortion care pathway (pre-abortion, abortion, post-abortion) – health services must be integrated within the health sector to ensure that service delivery meets their needs equitably and without discrimination. As each individual moves through this pathway, the guideline provides specific recommendations on the interventions needed (i.e. the “what”), and guidance on the individuals who may safely carry them out (i.e. the “who”). The guideline also provides information on the locations where services can be provided (i.e. the “where”) and outlines service-delivery models that can be used (i.e. the “how”). The enabling environment provides the context for the effective implementation of these interventions.
Download or print the full guideline
Web annexes and Evidence profiles:
- Web annex A. Key international human rights standards on abortion
- Web annex B. Technical meetings during guideline development
- Supplementary material 1. Evidence-to-Decision frameworks for the law and policy recommendations
- Supplementary material 2. Evidence-to-Decision frameworks for the clinical service recommendations
- Supplementary material 3. Evidence-to-Decision frameworks for the service delivery recommendations and best practice statements