Preventing Maternal Mortality: The Role of Safe Abortion

Presented by Biftu Mengesha, MD, MAS (she/her)
University of California, San Francisco


  1. Trends in maternal mortality: 2000-2017: estimates by WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, World Bank Group, and the United Nations Population Division. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2019.
  2. Say L, Chou D, Gemmill A, Tuncalp O, Moller AB, Daniels J, Gulmezoglu AM, Temmerman M, Alkema L. Global causes of maternal death: a WHO systematic analysis. Lancet Glob Health. 2014 Jun; 2(6):e323-33.
  3. OECD Health Data 2020. Roosa Tikkanen et al. Maternal Mortality and Maternity Care in the United States Compared to 10 Other Developed Countries (Commonwealth Fund, Nov, 2020).
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Pregnancy-Related Mortality Surveillance data. Emily Petersen et al “Vital Signs: Pregnancy-Related Deaths, United States 2011-2015, and Strategies for Prevention, 13 States, 2013-2017,” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 68 no 18 (May 10, 2018); 423-29.
  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Emily Petersen et al “Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Pregnancy-Related Deaths – United States, 2007-2016” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 68 no 35 (Sept 6, 2019); 762-65.
  6. Ibis Reproductive Health and Center for Reproductive Rights, “Evaluating Priorities: Measuring Women’s and Children’s Health and Wellbeing against Abortion Restrictions in the States,” (2017).
  7. Hawkind SS, Ghiani M, Harper S, Baum CF, Kaufman JS. Impact of state-lvel changes on maternal mortality: a population-based, quasi-experimental study.” American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2019.
  8. Rini CK, Dunkel-Schetter C, Wadhwa PD, Sandman CA. Psychological adaptation and birth outcomes: The role of personal resources, stress, and sociocultural context in pregnancy. Health Psychol 1999; 18:33-45.
  9. Medoff MH. The relationship between restrictive state abortion laws and postpartum depression. Soc. Work Public Health. 2014; 29:481-90.
  10. Foster DG, Biggs MA, Raifman S, Gipson J, Kimport K, Rocca CH. Comparison of Health, Development, Maternal Bonding, and Poverty among Children Born after Denial of Abortion vs Pregnancies Subsequent to an Abortion. JAMA Pediatr. 2018; 172: 1053-60.
  11. Susan A Cohen, “Facts and Consequences: Legality, Incidence, and Safety of Abortion Worldwide.” Guttmacher Policy Review 12(4). 2009.

When Abortion is Not Available: Caring for Patients After Self-management of Abortion – Ryan Curriculum

Presented by Biftu Mengesha, MD, MAS (she/her)


  1. Conti J, Cahill EP. Self-managed abortion. Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 2019 Dec;31(6):435-440.
  2. If When How Lawyering for Reproductive Justice. “Self-Managed Abortion, the Law, and COVID-19 Fact Sheet.”
  3. Center for Reproductive Rights. “Medical Abortion and Self-Managed Abortion: Frequently Asked Questions on Health and Human Rights.” Dec 2020.
  4. Donovan MK. Self-Managed Medication Abortion: Expanding the Available Options for US Abortion Care. Guttmacher Institute. Volume 21. Oct 2018.
  5. Rowan A. Prosecuting Women for Self-Inducing Abortion: Counterproductive and Lacking Compassion. Guttmacher Institute. Volume 18, Issue 3. Sept 2015.

When Abortion is Not Available: Self-management of Abortion – Ryan Curriculum

Presented by Bhavik Kumar, MD, MPH (he/him)


  1. An Overview of Abortion Laws. Guttmacher 2020.
  2. Singh S, Remez L, Sedgh G, Kwok L, Onda T. Abortion Worldwide 2017: Uneven Progress and Unequal Access. Guttmacher 2018.
  3. Donovan Self-Managed Medication Abortion: Expanding the Available Options for U.S. Abortion Care. Guttmacher 2018; 21.
  4. Jones R, Donovan M. Self-managed abortion may be on the rise, but probably not a significant driver of the overall decline in abortion. Guttmacher 2019.
  5. Self-Managed Abortion- What Healthcare Workers Need to Know. Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health.
  6. Baker C. Self-Managed Abortion Is Medically Very Safe. But Is It Legally Safe? MS Magazine 2020.
  7. Worldwide, an Estimated 25 Million Unsafe Abortions Occur Each Year. Guttmacher and WHO News Release, 2017.
  8. Harris L, Grossman D. Complications of Unsafe and Self-Managed Abortion. N Engl J Med 2020; 382:1029-1040
  9. Statement on Decriminalization of Self-Induced Abortion. ACOG 2017.
  10. Fulfilling Roe’s Promise: 2019 Update. If/When/How 2019.
  11. When Self-Abortion is a Crime. National Institute for Reproductive Health 2017.
  12. World Health Organization. (2012) Safe abortion: technical and policy guidance for health systems – 2nd ed.

When Abortion is Not Available: Abortion is Essential Healthcare – Ryan Curriculum

Presented by Ana Delgado, CNM (she/her)


  1. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. The Safety and Quality of Abortion Care in the United States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
  2. Abortion training and education. Committee Opinion No. 612. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Obstet Gynecol 2014;124:1055–9.
  3. ACGME Clarification on Requirements Regarding Family Planning and Contraception. Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, 2017.