Description: Abortion is very common: worldwide, and in the US, there is 1 abortion for every 3.2 live births. In places where contraception is not used, abortion is used as birth control. Neither legal nor religious proscriptions have a strong effect on abortion rates. In countries where abortion is illegal, maternal death rates are extraordinarily high. Legal, medically done abortions are safer than getting pregnant. Psychological responses depend on the individual and the culture.