A new report indicates that 15.6 million unborn babies were killed in abortions in 2015 in India, putting the Asian nation close to China with some of the highest abortion numbers in the world.
The study, conducted by the Guttmacher Institute, the former research arm of Planned Parenthood, found that the abortion rate in India was 47 per 1,000 women aged 15–49, which is similar to the abortion rate in other South Asian countries, PRI reports. In comparison, the abortion rate in the U.S. is 14.6 per 1,000 women.
Abortion has been legal up to 20 weeks in India since 1971. Because of discriminatory cultural attitudes, many of the unborn babies who are aborted in India are girls. Sex selection abortions are illegal in India, but the practice still occurs, sometimes forcibly by the woman’s partner or relatives.
Researchers said their study is the first of its kind in India. The Lancet Global Health published the study this month.
“Although abortion has been legal under a broad range of criteria in India since 1971, we have never had a reliable estimate of the number occurring until now,” said Dr Chander Shekhar, professor at the International Institute for Population Sciences in Mumbai.
“This new evidence provides policymakers with information that is essential for designing and implementing effective reproductive health care programs,” Shekhar said.
The pro-abortion research group hopes to use the study to push more doctors to do abortions in India.
Dr. Susheela Singh, a lead researcher at the Guttmacher Institute, said as much in an interview.
“Women in India face considerable challenges trying to obtain abortion care, including the limited availability of abortion services in public health facilities,” Singh said. “Our findings suggest that a shortage of trained staff and inadequate supplies and equipment are the primary reasons many public facilities don’t provide abortion care.”
Here’s more from the report:
Researchers found that the vast majority of abortions (81 percent) were achieved using medication abortion (which, in India, is commonly referred to as medical methods of abortion, or MMA) that was obtained either from a health facility or another source.
Fourteen per cent of abortions were performed surgically in health facilities, and the remaining five percent of abortions were performed outside of health facilities using other, typically unsafe, methods. The study also estimated the incidence of unintended pregnancy in India and found that out of the total 48.1 million pregnancies in 2015, about half were unintended— meaning they were wanted later or not at all. …
The researchers propose a number of steps to improve the availability and quality of abortion services in health facilities, including training and certifying more doctors to provide abortion care.
Instead of pushing even more abortions on India, those who really care about women and children should focus on providing good maternity care, protections from abuse and support for parenting moms.
Abuse of women and girls is rampant in India. Last year, LifeNews reported about a gruesome case where an India woman’s in-laws allegedly poured gas on her and tried to set her on fire because they believed she was pregnant with a girl. In March, another Indian woman died along with her unborn baby girl after a forced, sex-selection abortion.
Yet another woman, Parveen Khan, described to Al Jazeera how her husband brutally abused her and bit off part of her nose because he was angry that she did not conceive a son. She said her husband also forced her to abort two of her unborn daughters.
The gender imbalance in India is one of the worst in the world. The 2011 India census data indicates there were 914 girls for every 1,000 boys under age 7, according to the BBC. In some parts of the country, the population imbalance was even worse. In the state of Tiruvannamalai, men outnumbered women at a ratio of 1,000 to 878.
More than 15 million unborn babies were killed in India in 2015. How many of them were girls is not clear, but research suggests that a disproportionately high number were. Tragically, researchers with the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute seem more interested in promoting more abortions in India than stopping the targeting of unborn baby girls or the abuse and forced abortions that many women suffer.