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According to the findings of a global study, the abortion rates have dramatically declined in developed countries over the past 25 years. The study, however, also noted that the rates in poorer countries remained mostly stagnant with a slight dip.
The study which was conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Guttmacher Institute also noted that imposing strict laws against abortions does not help much in lowering abortion rates and instead forces people to adapt unsafe termination of their pregnancy.
The study estimated that on an average around 56 million abortions occurred worldwide every year from 2010 to 2014. The research found out that there was a dirth of access to modern contraception in poorer countries like pills, coils and implants in order to avoid unwanted pregnancies.
Commenting on the findings, lead researcher and Guttmacher Institute in the United States’ Gilda Sedgh said, “In developing countries … family planning services do not seem to be keeping up with the increasing desire for smaller families.” She further said that the research noted, more than 80% of the women who opt for abortions and such pregnancy terminating methods are the ones with unwanted pregnancy and those who not have access to proper contraceptives.
Explaining the reason behind this dramatic decline in abortions in richer countries, she said that is because of “increased use of modern contraception that has given women greater control over the timing and number of children they want.”
The researchers found out that abortions rates were almost similar in the countries where the practice was legal and also where it was not.
In order to reach the findings, the study used abortion data from nationally representative surveys, published and unpublished studies on the subject and official statistics. The researchers also evaluated the information available on the degree of unmet need for contraception and the extent of use of contraceptives.
The findings of the research were published in The Lancet medical journal.