Aug 02, 2011 News
– Gender discrimination also noted as a factor
By Rabindra Rooplall
Approximately 42 million abortions take place each year, while 83 per cent of all abortions are obtained in developing countries and 17 per cent occur in developed countries, according to recent statistics.
However, it was noted that the top five countries with the lowest abortion rates are Zambia, India, South Africa, Bangladesh and Spain.
According to statistical research, worldwide, an average of 35 of every 1,000 women of childbearing age have an abortion each year, but this rate ranges from about 10 in some countries to around 80 in others. Almost half of all abortions around the world are still unsafe, and more than 97 per cent of these unsafe abortions occur in developing countries.
Reports disclosed that over the past three decades the world has come to witness an ominous and entirely new form of gender discrimination: sex-selective feticide, implemented through the practice of surgical abortion with the assistance of information gained through prenatal gender determination technology.
All around the world, the victims of this new practice are overwhelmingly female—in fact, almost universally female. The practice has become so ruthlessly routine in many contemporary societies that it has impacted their very population structures, warping the balance between male and female births and consequently skewing the sex ratios for the rising generation toward a biologically unnatural excess of males.
This still-growing international predilection for sex-selective abortion is by now evident in the demographic contours of dozens of countries around the globe—and it is sufficiently severe that it has come to alter the overall sex ratio at birth of the entire planet, resulting in millions upon millions of new “missing baby girls” each year.
In terms of its sheer toll in human numbers, sex-selective abortion has assumed a scale tantamount to a global war against baby girls.
It was further noted that 64.4 per cent of all abortions are performed on never-married women; married women account for 18.4 per cent of all abortions and divorced women obtain 9.4 percent.
Study says that one per cent of all abortions occur because of rape or incest; six per cent of abortions occur because of potential health problems regarding either the mother or child, and 93 per cent of all abortions occur for social reasons (that is the child is unwanted or inconvenient).
Adding to the reports, it was underscored that an estimated 43 per cent of all women will have at least one abortion by the time they are 45 years old. And 47 per cent of all abortions are performed on women who have had at least one previous abortion.
“Unsafe and safe abortions correspond in large part with illegal and legal abortions, respectively,” one medical official noted. “Abortion laws do not predict a high level of abortion, and by the same token, highly restrictive abortion laws are not associated with low abortion incidence.”
The statistics point to an unmet need for contraception.
The researchers calculated worldwide and regional incidences of safe abortions using reports from national reporting systems, national representative surveys and published studies. Figures for unsafe abortion were estimated from hospital data, survey and other published studies.
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