Wednesday December 19, 2018

A Report Shows That Globally 25 Million Unsafe Abortions Take Place Every Year

Every year 25 million unsafe abortions take place, which compromise the sexual and reproductive health of women around the world, revealed an alarming report published in the journal The Lancet.

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Every year 25 million unsafe abortions take place, which compromise the sexual and reproductive health of women around the world, revealed an alarming report published in the journal The Lancet.

The report showed that globally as many as 180 million couples get affected by infertility; nearly two million people become infected with HIV and nearly 266,000 women die from cervical cancer.

About one in three women worldwide experience gender-based violence, most often from an intimate partner.

The researchers urge for a new, bold agenda to achieve universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights of women around the world.

“Gaps in sexual and reproductive health and rights worldwide take an enormous toll on individuals, communities and economies. We must not continue to tolerate this problem,” said Alex Ezeh, Commission Co-Chair and former Executive Director of the African Population and Health Research Centre.

The researchers noted that meeting the need for modern contraception, safe abortion, and maternal and newborn health care in developing regions would cost just $9 per person per year.
representational image. pixabay

“It’s time to eliminate these inequities with a comprehensive approach that doesn’t overlook critical components like access to safe and legal abortion, prevention of reproductive cancers, or treatment for infertility,” Ezeh added.

Moreover, each year in developing regions, more than 200 million women want to avoid pregnancy but are not using modern contraception; more than 45 million women receive inadequate antenatal care, or none at all; and more than 30 million women deliver their babies outside of a health facility.

The researchers noted that meeting the need for modern contraception, safe abortion, and maternal and newborn health care in developing regions would cost just $9 per person per year.

Access to sexual and reproductive health services saves lives, improves health and well-being, promotes gender equality, and increases productivity and household income.

Also Read: Some Teens Are More Likely To Undergo Abortion

The researchers called on countries to tackle restrictive social norms, laws and policies, and to hold governments accountable to their commitments.

“For too long the world has accepted these stark realities as inevitable. Our report shows how they can be overcome, laying out a roadmap that countries can use to put essential services and interventions in place,” said Ann M. Starrs, President and CEO of the Guttmacher Institute — a US-based non-profit. (IANS)

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Abortion Rates Down To A New Low In The U.S: CDC

The CDC study also showed 91.1 percent of abortions performed in 2015 were in a woman's first 13 weeks of pregnancy.

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Abortion
A pro-choice supporter is confronted by pro-life supporters at a rally in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington. VOA

A U.S. government agency said Wednesday that abortion rates among American women of all ages fell to a decade low in 2015, which both opponents and supporters of abortion rights attributed in part to individual states’ efforts to restrict women’s access to the procedure.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that statistics for 2015, the most recent year for which data are available, showed the abortion rate was 11.8 per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44. That was down 26 percent from 2006, when the study began and the rate was 15.9 abortions per 1,000 women.

Teens aged 15 to 19 experienced a greater decrease than older women, with the rate falling 54 percent from 2006 to 2015, the CDC said.

“This decrease in abortion rate was greater than the decreases for women in any older age group,” the CDC said in a statement.

Reproductive Rights, abortion, women
A community health worker holds up contraceptives during a lecture on family planning at a reproductive health clinic run by an NGO in Tondo city, metro Manila. VOA

The CDC did not provide any reason for the decline, but abortion rights advocates attributed it to increased use of contraceptives as well as decreased access to abortion services in some states.

“Affordable access to the full range of contraception and family planning options is critical for people deciding if and when they’d like to become parents, develop their careers, plan for their futures and manage their health,” said Rachel Jones, a research scientist at Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive health research group that supports abortion rights.

Opponents of abortion rights said the decrease was primarily the result of many states’ efforts to restrict women’s access to the procedure.

“That is due, in a significant way, to pro-life legislation that seeks to provide life-affirming solutions to abortion, combined with pro-life efforts that educate Americans about the effects of abortion and the humanity of the unborn child,” Carol Tobias, president of the National Right to Life Committee, said in an email.

abortion
Outside Planned Parenthood clinics across the U.S. Saturday, anti-abortion rights protesters gathered, calling for to end federal funding for the organization. They were met in many locations by counterprotesters, including Evansville, Indiana, where an estimates 130 supporters turned out and about 60 opponents. VOA

Total yearly number sinks

The total number of reported abortions fell to 638,169 in 2015, from 842,855 in 2006, a 24 percent decrease. In 2015, there were 188 abortions per 1,000 live births, compared with 233 abortions per 1,000 live births in 2006, a drop of 19 percent.

In 2015, all measures reached their lowest level for the entire period of analysis from 2006 to 2015, the CDC said of the annual study, Abortion Surveillance — United States 2015.

Conservative state lawmakers are passing increasingly restrictive abortion laws in a challenge to Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 landmark decision that established that women have a constitutional right to have abortions.

The Republican-controlled Ohio House of Representatives last week approved a measure that would ban abortions at six weeks, while an Iowa law banning abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected is tied up in a court battle.

Also Read: Teens Still At Risk But FGM Rate Goes Dwown in Africa: Research

Such laws are designed to end up before the Supreme Court, which has become more conservative following President Donald Trump’s appointments of Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.

The CDC study also showed 91.1 percent of abortions performed in 2015 were in a woman’s first 13 weeks of pregnancy. There was also a shift toward earlier abortions, with the number performed at six weeks or less increasing 11 percent. (VOA)