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26th May 2022 (6 Topics)

India must shift the discourse on abortion rights

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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