Unsafe abortions kill more than 70,000 women worldwide each year, says a global survey released Tuesday by the New York-based Guttmacher Institute.
"In almost all developed countries, abortion is safe and legal," said institute president Sharon Camp, the Associated Press reported. "But in much of the developing world, abortion remains highly restricted, and unsafe abortion is common and continues to damage women's health and threaten their survival."
The study, which called for further relaxing of abortion laws in developing nations, found that more than half the worldwide deaths (38,000) occur in sub-Saharan Africa, which has the lowest rates of contraception and the highest rates of accidental pregnancies.
The survey also found that increased contraceptive use has resulted in fewer abortions worldwide, the AP reported.