Google data shows how often exact phrases are searched about a topic.
“Abortion pills” is a top search phrase on abortion in all the countries analysed by the BBC.
“How to abort” is the most commonly asked question in more than two-thirds of countries.
“How to use Misoprostol”, “Misoprostol price”, “buy Misoprostol” and “Misoprostol dosage” are among the most common searches around abortion.
Of the 25 countries with highest search interest in Misoprostol, 11 are in Africa and 14 in are in Latin America.
All but two of the countries–Zambia and Mozambique, either ban abortions altogether or permit them only to save a woman’s life or health.
Countries with stricter abortion laws do the most
The BBC findings also suggest that countries with stricter abortion laws have greater search interest in abortion pills.
By buying pills online and sharing medical advice through WhatsApp groups, women are increasingly turning to technology to sidestep legal barriers to abortion.
Whatsapp groups on abortion pills have become the modern face of the so-called “DIY abortion”, the BBC writes.
Countries with the strictest laws, where abortion is allowed only to save a woman’s life or banned altogether, have over 10 times higher search interest in abortion pill Misoprostol compared to countries with no restrictions, BBC analysis shows.
Abortion is legal in Ghana only in cases of rape, incest, foetal impairment or to preserve a woman’s mental health.
Nigeria’s abortion laws are stricter. Abortion is only allowed in Nigeria in situations where a woman’s life is in danger.
Abortion is induced medically or surgically.
The BBC reports that about 14 percent of all abortions were “least safe”, which means they were provided by untrained persons using dangerous methods, such as the introduction of foreign objects and use of herbal concoctions.
When an abortion is incomplete, medical professionals may either advise further medication, or a surgical option, depending on the situation.
At least 22,800 women die each year from complications of unsafe abortion, the Guttmacher Institute reports.