The Museum of Contraception and Abortion sits on an unassuming side street of Austria's capital city, Vienna. The airy, two-room space is dedicated to telling humans' long history of avoiding and ending pregnancy.

The museum was founded by Christian Fiala, M.D., Ph.D., an OB-GYN who provides abortions in countries in Africa and Asia where the procedure is banned. Fiala, who has witnessed firsthand the often devastating effects of denying people access to safe abortions, said he opened the museum to remind people of "the basic facts."

"It's part of life: We can't get rid of unwanted pregnancies," Fiala said. "We only have the choice to allow it and have it safe or to make it illegal, in which case it will happen anyway but will threaten the health and lives of women."

A modern-day abortion performed under typical circumstances is one of the safest medical procedures we have, according to Fiala.

"On the other hand, this extremely safe procedure can become very dangerous and even lethal if it is performed by an unqualified person under illegal circumstances with unsuitable instruments," he said.

Abortion in the ancient world: