The HIV/AIDS crisis in Africa receives much media attention, but there is another problem: the illegal status of abortions in many countries, which makes them that much more dangerous for women. This article gives a thorough overview of the issues at play, including how outdated colonial laws interact with local norms about sex and birth control. As in many cases, greater access to and education about sex, contraception, and abortion appear to be the best options for maximizing women’s health.
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