Safe Abortion

RU-486. Termination of a pregnancy in the privacy of one’s home

Malcolm Potts

PIP: This is an outline of the therapeutic uses of RU-486, followed by clarification of the term “contragestion”, and analyses of the theological, legal, and corporate-political issues confronting acceptance of this drug. RU-486 is a computer-designed progesterone antagonist with no known side effects other than those predicted by its endocrinological action. It has been used to terminate pregnancy (with prostaglandin) up to 41 days amenorrhea, and has been shown to terminate pregnancy with fetal demise, to cause luteolysis in the late menstrual cycle, to facilitate management of ectopic...

Shining the light on abortion: Drivers of online abortion searches across the United States in 2018

Ndola Prata
Sylvia Guendelman
Elizabeth Pleasants
Elena Yon
Alan Hubbard


Legal abortion restrictions, stigma and fear can inhibit people’s voices in clinical and social

settings posing barriers to decision-making and abortion care. The internet allows individuals
to make informed decisions privately. We explored what state-level policy dimensions were
associated with volume of Google searches on abortion and on the abortion pill in 2018.


We used Google Trends to quantify the relative search volume (RSV) for “abortion” and
“abortion pill” (or “abortion pills” hereafter referred to as “abortion pill”)...

Women’s Empowerment and Fertility: A Review of the Literature

Ndola Prata
Ushma D. Upadhyay
Jessica D. Gipson
Mellissa Withers
Shayna Lewis
Erica J. Ciaraldi
Ashley Fraser
Megan J. Huchko

Women’s empowerment has become a focal point for development efforts worldwide and there is a need for an updated, critical assessment of the existing evidence on women’s empowerment and fertility. We conducted a literature review on studies examining the relationships between women’s empowerment and several fertility-related topics. Among the 60 studies identified for this review, the majority were conducted in South Asia (n = 35) and used household decision-making as a measure of empowerment (n = 37). Overall, the vast majority of studies found some positive associations between women’s...

"Berkeley professor from Angola talks about the threat to abortion rights—globally"

May 22, 2022

a woman professor with short dark curly hair wearing glasses smiling at you

Professor Ndola Prata MD, MSc was interviewed by 48 Hills to speak about abortion rights globally. She discussed important aspects of medical demography, population, and family planning, and maternal, child, and adolescent health worldwide, with special emphasis on law and social justice. To read the complete article,...

Tsunami and the silent tide: the invisible challenge of women’s health

Martha Campbell

Women suffered differentially in the tsunami disaster. While the total death toll will never be known accurately, it is known that more women and children died than men. Among the survivors it is the special needs of women that are being overlooked.

Given the rapid growth in the number of young fertile women, it is possible that more women will die from pregnancy, childbirth and abortion in the current decade than in any other in human history. With steps that we know how to take, we should be able now to roll back the silent tide of maternal death.

Published in Journal of...

Saving maternal lives in resource-poor settings: Facing reality

Ndola Prata
Amita Sreenivas
Farnaz Vahidnia
Malcolm Potts

Literature review to identify interventions that require minimal treatment/infrastructure and are not dependent on skilled providers. Simulations were run to assess the potential number of maternal lives that could be saved through intervention implementation according to potential program impact. Regional and country level estimates are provided as examples of settings that would most benefit from proposed interventions.

Three interventions were identified: (i) improve access to contraception; (ii) increase efforts to reduce deaths from unsafe abortion; and (iii) increase access to...

Abortion perspectives

Malcolm Potts

A look at abortion from the perspective of a doctor who has performed abortions, a physician who also has a PhD in embryology, and someone who had the privilege of working all over the world in various aspects of human reproduction and sexuality.

Published in The European Journal of Contraception and Reproductive Health Care, June 2010;15:157–159

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Maternal mortality: one death every 7 min

Ndola Prata
Malcolm Potts
Nuriye Nalan Sahin-Hodoglugil

This comment in the explores the role of policy and research in using the prevention of postpartum hemorrhage and suggest a joint meeting by WHO and FIGO to revisit the 2009 statement by WHO which does not recommend the use of misoprostol at the community level.

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Setting priorities for safe motherhood interventions in resource-scarce settings

Ndola Prata
Amita Sreenivas
Fiona Greig
Julia Walsh
Malcolm Potts

Objective: Guide policy-makers in prioritizing safe motherhood interventions.

Methods: Three models (LOW, MED, HIGH) were constructed based on 34 sub-Saharan African countries to assess the relative cost-effectiveness of available safe motherhood interventions. Cost and effectiveness data were compiled and inserted into the WHO Mother Baby Package Costing Spreadsheet. For each model we assessed the percentage in maternal mortality reduction after implementing all interventions, and optimal combinations of interventions given restricted budgets of US$ 0.50, US$ 1.00, US$ 1.50 per...

Maternal mortality in developing countries: challenges in scaling-up priority interventions

Ndola Prata
Paige Passano
Amita Sreenivas
Caitlin Elisabeth Gerdts

Although maternal mortality is a significant global health issue, achievements in mortality decline to date have been inadequate. A review of the interventions targeted at maternal mortality reduction demonstrates that most developing countries face tremendous challenges in the implementation of these interventions, including the availability of unreliable data and the shortage in human and financial resources, as well as limited political commitment. Examples from developing countries, such as Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Honduras, demonstrate that maternal mortality will decline when...