*(Via IHT) – Between heavy lunches and poolside cocktails, the doctors and health experts who gathered at a fancy hotel here early this month to talk about reproductive health often brought up cultural taboos. Cultural taboos that hinder open discussion of H.I.V., cultural taboos that prevent the availability of contraceptives, cultural taboos that make abortions illegal in many African countries.
According to the International Herald Tribune, every sub-Saharan African state already allows pregnant women to abort when their lives are in danger, and in recent years Benin, Chad, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, Swaziland and Togo have been working at expanding their laws to allow abortions in more circumstances.
Still, in all of sub-Saharan Africa, abortion is legal only in Cape Verde and South Africa. And the number of unsafe abortions on the continent is staggeringly high: every year, there are over six million unsafe abortions conducted in Africa, and about 30,000 women die from the procedure. Unsafe abortions are among the leading causes of death for women admitted to hospitals around much of the continent.
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