Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

[From our archives] More married women than singles have abortions

Abortion rates around the world are about 44% higher among married women than among single women, according to the global sexual and reproductive health advocacy organisation, Guttmacher Institute.

The institute recently released the findings of a study that compared abortion rates in 184 countries between the periods of 1990 to 1994 and 2010 to 2014. Published in The Lancet, the research found that while abortion rates fell significantly in developed countries, this was not true among developing countries.

The majority – 88% – of all abortions now take place in the developing world, said Akinrinola Bankole, who is a lead author of the study and was speaking at the recent Africa Regional Conference on Abortion in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa. The study did not investigate the reasons women terminated pregnancies.

“In Africa, there were about 4.6-million abortion performed every year between 1990 and 1994. In the period between 2010 and 2014 the average number of abortions was 8.3-million every year,” Bankole said.

The study found an increased rate of abortions globally but researchers caution this can partly be explained by the increase in the number of women of reproductive age between the ages of 15 and 44.

Similar research published in The Lancet in 2012 revealed no correlation between restrictive abortion laws and lower abortion rates.

Bankole explained: “For example, Ethiopia has very liberal laws on abortion but the rates of termination of pregnancy is low. Nigeria’s law is more restrictive, but the rate of terminations is high.

“However, in countries that have liberal abortion laws the termination of pregnancies is overwhelmingly safe.” South Africa, for instance, faces high rates of unsafe abortions but these were lower than other African countries.

The institute’s recent study recommends that sexual and reproductive health services such as contraception be made widely available to prevent unwanted and unplanned pregnancies.

In the study, researchers wrote: “The findings suggest that much more investment is needed to meet the demands of the growing population, the increasingly widespread desire for small families and the growing strength of women’s and couple’s motivation to control family size.”

Ina Skosana’s trip to Addis Ababa was sponsored by Ipas, Guttmacher and the African Population and Health Research Centre


Subscribe to the M&G

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and receive a 40% discount on our annual rate..

Related stories

Advertising

Subscribers only

Standard Bank mulls over shareholder climate resolution ahead of AGM

Climate considerations are pressing Standard Bank shareholders to push for the recusal of those with fossil fuel ties.

NW Premier Mokgoro ‘meddles’ in contentious R1.5m HOD appointment

Provincial HOD hired despite implication in ‘jobs-for-pals’ probe involving former minister Faith Muthambi

More top stories

Sweeter local sales rescue sugar

The master plan to rescue the industry means that at least 80% of sugar consumption will come from South African farms and millers

Public works tables ‘solutions’ to botched Beitbridge border fence tender

Scopa ‘disappointed’ by slow pace and lack of consequences on Beitbridge irregularities.

ANC resolute over its step-aside decision: Duarte

The governing party has identified 40 members charged with serious crimes who will have to step aside

New Covid-19 variant in South Africa ‘of concern at a...

The Covid-19 B.1.617 variant, first detected in India, is now listed as one of concern, but the World Health Organisation says it does not doubt the efficacy of global vaccines
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×