T Nation

Limited Contraceptives=Abortion?


Who would have thought?!

Limited access to contraceptives has put millions of young girls at risk of unsafe abortions in Asia-Pacific countries.

Rishita Nandagiri, a member of the Womenâ??s Global Network for Reproductive Rights, said that young women and other marginalized groups were still facing barriers in access not only to effective contraception but also safe abortion services.

â??Most sexual and reproductive health and rights programs delivered by Asia-Pacific governments ignore safe abortion practices,â?? she said.

As a result, women rarely have other options than to seek unsafe abortions when dealing with unwanted pregnancies.

Amid legal and cultural barriers to premarital sex among teenagers, many young girls are forced to take risks to avoid humiliation and rejection within their communities.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 98 percent of an estimated 21.6 million unsafe abortions worldwide occur in developing countries, half of which are carried out in Asia.

Almost 5 million women suffer from temporary or permanent disability caused by unsafe abortions. A high number of maternal mortalities in developing countries are associated with unsafe abortions.

Women are often forced to apply unsafe, self-induced abortion methods, such as putting roots, sticks or acid inside their wombs, leading to severe bleeding, infection and even death.

The need for access to safe abortions triggered a heated debate among participants at the 6th Asia Pacific Conference on Reproductive and Sexual Health and Rights, held at Gadjah Mada University last week.

The UN-sponsored event highlighted it as a central issue for a high number of adolescents, and as a key concern for the worldâ??s population, which is estimated to surpass 7 billion by the end of this month.

The UN defines adolescents as young people aged between 10 and 24. The number of adolescents in the Asia-Pacific region is around 850 million, accounting for half of the worldâ??s young people.

â??Some adolescents may have advantages, such as liberal parents, with whom they can freely discuss their accidental pregnancies. Many others, however, especially those who are impoverished and living in rural areas, are afraid to talk to their parents and donâ??t have the money or opportunity to seek help,â?? said Eszter Kismodi, the human rights adviser for the WHOâ??s reproductive health and research department.

Studies show that the high number of unsafe abortion-associated deaths relates to prevailing restrictive abortion laws in certain countries.

A report on Indonesian field analysis, titled: â??Using Human Rights for Maternal and Neonatal Health: (A Tool for Strengthening Laws, Policies, and Standards of Care)â??, jointly published by the Health Ministry and the WHO in 2007, recognized that laws have posed as barriers to abortion. Due to the restrictive nature of the law, the number of abortions performed each year in Indonesia is grossly under-reported.

The 2007 report, however, put the figure at around 2 million, comprising both induced and spontaneous abortions. Data from the national household health survey in 2001 showed that complications following unsafe abortions contributed to 5 percent of maternal deaths.

A study cited in the report said that 24 percent of abortions in Indonesia were performed by traditional midwives. The incidence rate ranged from 15 percent in cities to 84 percent in rural areas, showing the need for safe abortion services.

The report also identified that if female students became pregnant, they were likely to be expelled from school.

The 2009 Health Law stipulates that abortion is prohibited with the only exceptions being cases of medical emergency or rape.

An edict released by the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) in 2005 supported the law.

â??Hospitals, doctors or reproductive health clinics can deliver safe abortion services as long as they are conducted [according to the law],â?? said Sugiri Syarief, the head of the National Family Planning Board (BKKBN), told The Jakarta Post.

He said public and health professionals have yet to increase both their awareness on the importance of safe abortion services as allowed by the law and their understanding on how the law can be properly interpreted.


I took away from it something about saving some lives by killing a whole bunch more.


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Another take on it: abortion attempts have been around since before humans. Making it illegal isn't a safe solution.

If you want to reduce abortions:

  1. Admit that people have limited self control and you cannot realistically argue "Well if you don't want a kid, don't have sex". We're born with the urge to reproduce and also varying amounts of personal self control. The result of this should be apparent.

  2. Provide contraceptives.

  3. Provide education. This education cannot realistically be limited to "don't have sex". If you really think that kind of reasoning works, you're not very aware of the world around you.

  4. Provide young mothers a way of taking care of their kid. As mentioned previously, abortions happen because people lack self control. They also happen because the mother feels the child will ruin her chances in life and reputation in society. In many cases, they're right!!! The women in this article know they will likely be expelled and socially ostracized. These factors create a strong desire to get rid of the problem. If you want to save an unborn child, give these girls a better chance in life with a kid.


Sure it is. Many more will go unaborted.

don't make them legal.


Are we discussing abortion or sex ed and contraceptives?

What is the "main point" here?


I am not feeling the whole, "It's ok to kill kids because people gonna do it anyway" theory.


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This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


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Oh how I love a subjective approach to an objective topic. Usually makes for entertaining conversation.


So here we have someone proposing a solution, that if implemented correctly, would drastically reduce abortions... and yet you all attack him.

And the key part here is that you all don't give a fuck once the kid is born, and yet that is the part of the whole mess that is the key motivation in making abortion happen. Make having a kid less of a negative impact on a persons future and they are far less likely to look to abortion.

It's cute that you think your black and white ideals of the law will stop abortion. You appear to have no sympathy for the child of a mother who goes to the back alley to get an abortion because y'know "she broke der law".

Contraception, education, and less stigmatization will be what reduces, and possibly eliminates abortion. Not black and white child-like thinking.


They'll be like the legal abortion, contraceptive, educated west. Plenty of abortions, increasingly elderly, and too few young.


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Problem with that ideal is it has yet to be implemented anywhere without nutjobs insisting that abstinence only programs should be offered.

When people stop fighting a rational solution, maybe they'll get what they want in terms of abortion. But that's not acceptable, because in the narrow world view of some, sex outside of marriage and the missionary position is bad and should be avoided. An exaggeration, yes, but you get the idea.


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Thanks for sharing this. I just posted it on facebook I liked it so much :slightly_smiling:


1.7 fertility rate. Good luck with those social programs. Guess they'll end up having to ship in more religious immigrants with their higher birthrates in the hopes of carrying the ballooning elderly population.

I.e. A culture of self-replacement.