Two recent efforts to quantify the causes of maternal deaths on a global scale generated divergent estimates of abortion-related mortality. Such discrepancies in estimates of abortion-related mortality present an important opportunity to explore unique challenges and opportunities associated with the generation and interpretation of abortion-related mortality estimates. While innovations in primary data collection and estimation methodologies are much needed, at the very least, studies that seek to measure maternal deaths due to abortion should endeavor to improve transparency, acknowledge limitations of data, and contextualize results. As we move towards sustainable development goals beyond 2015, the need for valid and reliable estimates of abortion-related mortality has never been more pressing. The post-MDG development agenda that aims to improve global health, reduce health inequities, and increase accountability, requires new and novel approaches be tested to improve measurement and estimation of abortion-related mortality, as well as incidence, safety and morbidity.