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Study: Number of abortions has dipped worldwide

The number of abortions worldwide has declined,a recent report has revealed. According to the report “Abortion Worldwide....

The number of abortions worldwide has declined,a recent report has revealed. According to the report “Abortion Worldwide: A Decade of Uneven Progress,” released by the US Guttmacher institute,which studies sexual and reproductive health,increase in access to contraception has lead to the findings. As per the report,abortions declined to 41.6 million in 2003 from 45.5 million in 1995 – a drop to 29 per 1,000 women from 35.

In Asia,while the number of abortions in 1995 was reported at 26.8 million,in 2003 it came down to 25.9 million.

However,this has not affected the number of unsafe abortions performed. The report has pointed out that globally around 70,000 women die each year from the effects of unsafe abortions,a figure that still has barely changed in the last 10 years.

“An estimated 8 million women annually experience complications and need medical treatment,but only 5 million actually get that care,” says the report.

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The largest declines in abortion rates came in former Soviet bloc nations,the study said. The abortion rate fell in Russia to 45 per 1,000 women from 69 and in Estonia from 56 to 22. In Cuba,abortion rates fell to 57 per 1,000 from 78.

Another reason for decline is that the unintended pregnancies have dropped from 69 per 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 44 in 1995 to 55 unintended pregnancies in 2008.

Though the report is silent on India,experts believe that rate of abortion definitely has gone down here too. “Surgical abortions have definitely come down immensely. The reason could be that more and more people come to hospital now and change in the mindset of people for having a boy has helped a lot,” said Dr Anuradha Kapur,senior consultant,Max Hospital.

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According to the report,the percentage of married women using contraception increased to 63 percent in 2003 from 54 percent in 1990.

First published on: 16-10-2009 at 04:10 IST
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