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India must shift the discourse on abortion rights

  • Published
    26th May, 2022

According to the World Health Organization, six out of 10 of all unintended pregnancies end in an induced abortion. Around 45% of all abortions are unsafe, almost all of which (97%) take place in developing countries.

India’s abortion facts

  • Broad Statistics: The recent round of the NFHS 2019­2021, shows that 3% of all pregnancies in India result in abortion. 53% of abortions are performed in the private sector as compared to 20% in the public sector. 27% are performed by the woman herself at home.
  • Medication abortions: As per a Lancet study in 2018, 73% of all abortions in India in 2015 were medication abortions which are safer. But many of these are illegal as per the MTP Act, if they occur without the approval of a registered medical practitioner. Sex­ selective abortions in India could lead to 6.8 million fewer girls being born between 2017 and 2030.
  • Unsafe abortions: 5% of all abortions were outside of health facilities with unsafe methods. These risky abortions are performed by untrained people under unhygienic conditions. As per a study published in PLOS ‘One journal’ in 2014, abortions account for 10% of maternal deaths in India.
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