Access to knowledge and the Global Abortion Policies Database

Congratulations to Joanna N. Erdman and Brooke R. Johnson Jr., who recently published an article in the Ethical and Legal Issues section of the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics.  Prof. Joanna Erdman teaches Law at Dalhousie University and Brooke R. Johnson the World Health Organization’s Department of Health and Research and manages the WHO’s Global Abortion Policies Database.

“Access to knowledge and the Global Abortion Policies Database,”  by Joanna Erdman, Brooke Ronald Johnson.  International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics  2018; 142: 120–124   PDF at Wiley online.   Submitted text online at SSRN.

Research shows that women, healthcare providers, and even policy makers worldwide have limited or inaccurate knowledge of the abortion law and policies in their country. These knowledge gaps sometimes stem from the vague and broad terms of the law, which breed uncertainty and even conflict when unaccompanied by accessible regulation or guidelines. Inconsistency across national law and policy further impedes safe and evidence‐based practice. This lack of transparency creates a crisis of accountability. Those seeking care cannot know their legal entitlements, service providers cannot practice with legal protection, and governments can escape legal responsibility for the adverse effects of their laws. This is the context for the newly launched Global Abortion Policies Database—an open‐access repository that seeks to promote transparency and state accountability by providing clear and comprehensive information about national laws, policies, health standards, and guidelines, and by creating the capacity for comparative analysis and cross‐referencing to health indicators, WHO recommendations, and human rights standards.

The published article  can temporarily be downloaded in PDF at Wiley online.
Full text, as submitted, is online at SSRN.
Ethical and Legal Issues in Reproductive Health: 85+ concise articles.

Compiled by the Coordinator of the International Reproductive and Sexual Health Law Program, reprohealth*law at For Program publications and resources, see our website, online here. TO JOIN THIS BLOG: enter your email address in upper right corner of this webpage, then check your email to confirm the subscription.

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