Startling Statistics: A Woman Dies Every Two Hours in India From an Unsafe Abortion

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India, the country that has the highest concentration of young people in the world, is also one in which the dire needs for safe, available contraceptives and sex education are far from being at an appropriately available level. Each year, 19 million to 20 million women undergo unsafe abortions, and in India, a woman dies every two hours from one, Time reported late last week.

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Let's look at the numbers: There were 620,472 abortions reported in India in 2012, but experts state the true number "could be as high as 7 million, with two-thirds of them taking place outside authorized health facilities." Some of these aborted pregnancies were out of wedlock, sure, but many of them were simply from married women who, for travel, economic, and personal reasons, were unable to have another child. And of the 3.9 percent of India's gross domestic product allocated to health care, less than 20 percent of current clinics "provide legitimate abortion facilities, compelling many rural women to seek alternatives."

The India-based Abortion Assessment Project recommends a nationwide expansion of mid-level providers, in which, for example, field workers could be trained to conduct abortions. However, nothing can be done until the country updates its national funding to reflect this unfortunate trend, or a third-party resource is able to dramatically improve the women's health resources in both rural and metropolitan areas. Angelina Jolie, our eyes are on you.

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