A global report released by the World Health Organization and the Guttmacher Institute estimates that every one in four pregnancies ends in abortion.
“Some 25% of pregnancies ended in abortion in 2010–14,” the report, published in The Lancet, outlines. “Because of population growth, the annual number of abortions worldwide increased by 5.9 million from 50.4 million in 1990–94 to 56.3 million in 2010–14.”
It found that abortion rates, however, decreased in more developed nations, while there was little change in third world countries.
“In the developed world, the abortion rate declined 19 points, from 46 to 27. In the developing world, we found a non-significant 2 point decline in the rate from 39 to 37,” the study explained.
The organizations also found that for women between the ages of 15 and 44, there were approximately 35 abortions for every 1000 births. Most mothers seeking an abortion were married.
“Globally, 73% of abortions were obtained by married women in 2010–14 compared with 27% obtained by unmarried women,” the report outlined.
Study co-author Dr. Bela Ganatra of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland opined that the results show a need for birth control. WHO said that there was no relation between the abortion rate and its legality.
“Estimates of the proportion of abortions that are unsafe are under development but we already know nearly 300 million dollars are spent each year on treating the complications from unsafe abortions,” she said.
“The high rates of abortion seen in our study also provide further evidence of the need to improve and expand access to effective contraceptive services,” Ganatra added. “Investing in modern contraceptive methods would be far less costly to women and society than having unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortions.”
But Nola Leach of Christian Action Research and Education (CARE) in London said that she found that the statistics rather indicate the need for Christians to be a voice for the unborn.
“While the number of abortions in more developed countries has come down the global figure is disturbingly high and a reminder of the international challenge we face in standing up for the unborn,” she told Christian Today.
“All too often, abortion is seen and sold as the only solution for mothers who are encouraged to view an unplanned pregnancy as a problem that needs solving,” Leach stated. “But we should be making sure mothers are fully aware that there are different options out there other than termination.”
“I would want to pay tribute to the work that many Christian organizations and Christian individuals do, especially in providing good quality pastoral care for women … and that certainly offers a real vision of how we can move forward in this,” added spokesman James Mildred. “There are other options out there other than just having an abortion.”