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ABORTION IN THE WORLD

Everybody talks about family planning or “responsible procreation” putting emphasis on the word: responsible. International organisms and NGO’s, implicated in population decrease, promote gigantic campaigns directed towards the “responsibility” of having children… as it would be an untenable weight for humanity. Those concerned parents may be “responsible” for the annihilation of the future generations… under these circumstances; isn’t freedom for the individual vanishing?

At these heights, it is time for a clarifying proposal: it becomes evident when United Nation’s documents use the expression “population politics”, the UN is talking from a Neo-Malthusian position, considering merely birth control. Erroneously it employs the term “pro-natality politics”. It may be true that population politics consist of a control; nevertheless, this expression contains much more and is much deeper rooted. Special care is needed in the case of South and Center America; if United Nations’ politics shall be respected, these countries will be led towards suicide, without even passing trough development.

Therefore, when discussion about reproductive health is set up as a mean of diminishing fecundity, and consequently decreasing poverty; attention becomes moved away from the real objective. Medium term solutions are projected for a much deeper and serious problematic as the elimination and decreasing of poverty, minimizing the gap among social-economic differences in certain countries and their differences with the rest of the world.

As an article, published by the magazine “International Family Planning Perspectives” “Induced Abortion Incidence in the World”, reveals, the fourth part of all pregnancies −which are estimated to be around 180 millions per year on a world-wide level− finish in an induced abortion.

This report points out; during 1995 approximately 46 millions of abortions were practiced in the whole world. About 26 millions were “legal” and about 20 millions illegal. Approximately 35 of 1000 women between 15 and 44 years practiced an abortion that year.

The number of induced abortions had grown around 3 millions compared to 1987 when 43 millions were estimated, 15 millions of them being clandestine. Besides, developing regions where about 79 % of the world population lives, represent 64 % of all realized “legal abortions” in the whole world and 95 % of illegal abortions.

The same report informs; during 1989 approximately 271 thousand abortions were realized in Peru. Actually the rate is estimated to be around 300 thousand; but there are no precise data. It has become revealed that during these last years, 56,1 of 1000 women realized an induced abortion and 30 % of pregnancies have become interrupted.

It has been affirmed that 5 from 100 Peruvian women between 15 and 49 years provoke an abortion every year. This means, actually more than 300 thousand induced abortion happen every year… and a similar number of “not desired births”.

The report points out as well; Peru owns the second maternal decease rate in South America with 265 deceased women for a hundred thousand births. Abortion constitutes one of principal causes for death affecting principally poor and young women.

Clandestine abortions have additional costs. The Alan Guttmacher Institute found out; in Chile, where 159 thousand abortions were practiced in 1990, 31,930 women were hospitalized due to post-abortion complications. The average hospital demurrage due to those complications is about 2,6 per day producing an annual cost of 15 millions $ to the public health system.

At the present, in Peru there is a high index for abortions practiced within insecure conditions. Even if secrecy makes estimation difficult, it is guessed; 30 % of pregnancies finish in an abortion every year.

As 5 of 100 Peruvian women between 15 and 49 years provoke an induced abortion every year; in 1997 three hundred and twenty-five thousand abortions were realized representing a direct cause to 22 % of maternal deceases.

In spite of its illegality, treatment of abortion complications demands a significant attention involving public health; on such a way that diverse organizations have even manifested concern for the quality of post-abortion services.

Reliable statistics are sparse. In 1995, the Alan Guttmacher Institute prepared a report based on data from Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Republic of Dominique, Mexico and Peru. The total number of abortions realized in these countries was around 2.8 millions a year. Brazil headed the list with 1.43 millions, but the highest rate per 1000 women was Peru: 51,8; followed by Chile with 45.4 and Republic of Dominic with 43.7.

Pathfinder and other organizations are actualizing the number for Peru. According to initial conclusions, abortions have increased up to 300.000 – 350.000 per year in this country compared with the 271.000 in 1989. If in other countries similar increases have been produced, the total for this region may ascend up to 4.4 millions per year and more...

 

Translated from Spanish language

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