BMA report

Global women's health

We outline key issues in international women's health and improvements that could be made through improved quality and access to healthcare.

Location: International
Audience: All doctors
Updated: Monday 7 September 2020
Topics: Population health
Public Health Article Illustration

What you will get from this report

  • Actions for policy makers and governments to improve the quality of, and access to, healthcare for women globally.
  • Global statistics on maternal mortality and morbidity.
  • Global statistics on family planning and abortion.


Key findings

  • Each year there are 213 million pregnancies globally, of which 75 million are unplanned. There are over 50 million induced abortions, of which 22 million are unsafe.
  • In 2016, there were 303,000 maternal deaths, of which 25% were adolescent girls.
  • Worldwide, pregnancy and childbirth is the number one killer of girls and young women aged 15–19 years, with 50,000 deaths per year.
  • Providing all women with the choice of using effective contraception would reduce the number of unplanned pregnancies by 70% and reduce the unsafe abortion rate by 74%.
  • Between 4.7% – 13.2% of maternal deaths can be attributed to unsafe abortion each year.


  • Actions required summary
  • Introduction
  • Maternal mortality and morbidity
  • Family planning
  • Abortion