Bioethics News

Latest global abortion figures suggest measures to prevent them and make known their true meaning

Latest global abortion figures suggest the necessity to spread the meaning of an abortion, which is nothing other than ending the life of a human being

Knowing the incidence of abortion in different parts of the world is important in order to promote measures to prevent it. In a recent article by our Observatory (see HERE), we discussed an extensive study in The Lancet that addressed this issue.

In 2010-2014, the annual incidence of abortions was 35 per 1000 women aged between 15 and 44 years, 5 points less than in 1990-1994. As a result of population growth, however, the total number of abortions worldwide increased by 5.9 million in this period of time, from 50.4 million in 1990-1994 to 56.3 million in 2010-2014.

While the number of abortions fell by 19 points in developed countries, from 46 to 27 per 1000 women, there was a decline of only 2 points in developing countries, from 39 to 37.

vector nasciturus 1ª semanasAround 25% of pregnancies ended in abortion in 2010-2014; of these abortions, 73% were performed in married women and 27% in unmarried women.

These data show that abortion rates have declined significantly since 1990 in developed but not developing countries.

Analysis of the latest global abortion figures discussed here suggests a need to implement measures to prevent them that should not only include facilitating access to reproductive health services — as in the article cited and accompanying editorial (The Lancet 16 July 2016) — but should also be aimed at spreading the meaning of an abortion, which is nothing other than ending the life of a human being.

The figure of 56.3 million abortions annually in 2010-2014 should be a wake-up call for the moral conscience of those of us who presently have the chance to live.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.