National Estimate of Abortion in India Released
Study Finds 15.6 Million Abortions Occur Annually
December 11, 2017
According to the first national study of the incidence of abortion and unintended pregnancy in India, an estimated 15.6 million abortions were performed in the country in 2015. This translates to an abortion rate of 47 per 1,000 women aged 15–49, which is similar to the abortion rate in neighboring South Asian countries. The study—published today in The Lancet Global Health—was conducted jointly by researchers at the International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS), Mumbai; the Population Council, New Delhi; and the New York–based Guttmacher Institute. It also found that the vast majority of abortions (81%) 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 percent of abortions were performed surgically in health facilities, and the remaining 5% of abortions were performed outside of health facilities using other, typically unsafe, methods.