The need for legal, induced abortions has been expressed differently by the various countries whose laws allow for such action. The most liberal, as for example in Cyprus, permit pregnancy terminations on grounds of demonstrated socio-economic and psychological conditions detrimental to full-term pregnancy and birth, as well as in cases of pregnancies resulting from rape. The more conservative countries consider only medical risk to the mother; however this may include her psychological health and sanity. Rape and grossly malformed foetuses are also considered adequate reasons for legal abortions in some conservative jurisdictions.
30 to 50 percent of the 500,000 maternal deaths that occur annually are due to unsafe abortion and it is estimated that 99% of these deaths occur in developing countries. It is estimated that illegal abortions worldwide kill a woman every three minutes, whilst for every one that dies 30-40 others suffer severe health problems. In Latin America, illegal abortion is now the number one killer of women between the ages of 15 and 39.