According to the World Health Organisation, unsafe abortions are those that are not performed using a recommended method that is appropriate for gestational age, or are performed by untrained providers or in unsafe environments. Unsafe abortions are classified into "less safe" and "dangerous."
Less safe abortions are ones that are carried out using outdated methods, such as sharp curettage, or are carried out with pills without access to healthcare facilities in case of complications.
Dangerous abortions are ones that are performed using dangerous methods and these carry a high rate of complications and mortality. They include the ingestion of corrosive substances or traditional concoctions, the insertion of corrosive substances into the vagina, or the insertion of foreign objects - such as wire hangers - into the uterus. This is why the wire hanger became a symbol for unsafe abortions.