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121 Million Unwanted Pregnancies Occur Every Year, 1 in 7 in India: UN

Unsafe abortions are the third leading cause of maternal mortality in India, with about eight women dying every day

unwanted pregnancy

According to a report published by the United Nations Population Fund (formerly known as UNFPA), there are approximately 121 million unwanted pregnancies worldwide each year, of which one in seven occurs in India.

Between 2015 and 2019, the number of unintended pregnancies worldwide accounted for 48 percent of all pregnancies, according to this year’s State of the World Population Report. In addition, 61 percent of unplanned pregnancies end in induced abortion.

The greatest changes were found in Latin America, where the rate of unwanted pregnancies is between 41 and 107 women per 1,000, and in sub-Saharan Africa, where the rate is between 49 and 145 women per 1,000.

“Sexual and reproductive health and rights are an essential part of universal health coverage and are required to end discrimination against women and girls,” the WHO said.

This research demonstrates how barriers to access and access to effective sexual and reproductive health care exist in all settings, except where resources are scarce.

“The proportion of unintended pregnancies ending in abortion – as great as 68%, even among countries that completely prohibited abortion – illustrates the strength of the desire of millions of women and adolescents to avoid unplanned childbearing,” said Jonathan Bearak, a senior research scientist at Guttmacher Institute and lead author of the article.

According to the report, studies from India indicate that unintended pregnancies are associated with low access to maternal health care and poor maternal and child health outcomes, highlighting the need to focus on preventing unwanted pregnancies.

The report further states that India’s top priority now is to meet family planning/contraceptive needs and improve access to safe abortion. It also noted the country’s need to invest in research to better understand “the causes and effects of unwanted pregnancies”.

“India has made major inroads in terms of sexual and reproductive health and rights. The population is stabilising, the number of preventable maternal deaths has reduced, and there is increased uptake of reversible and safe modern methods for family planning,” Andrea Wojnar, the UNFPA’s representative in India and country director for Bhutan, said in a statement.

“For good health, people in countries around the world need access to a comprehensive package of sexuality education, accurate family planning information and services, as well as quality abortion care,” said Dr Bela Ganatra, who leads WHO’s Prevention of Unsafe Abortion unit.

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