Chennai: Abortions have been on a rise in the city during the period 2008 to 2014, according to a research based on inputs from the health department of Tamil Nadu.
As per the research, compiled by W. Robert Johnston, the abortion percentage rose to 13.8 per cent in 2014 from 12.6 per cent in 2008 in relation to total pregnancies. Doctors attribute the rise to the increase to the cases being registered.
“All abortions are being done only in institutions and all cases are being registered,” said Dr Sheela Rani, gynaecologist, Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital.
“If it has been identified that the baby to be born has some problems, including Down Syndrome, abortion may be suggested in order to prevent future problems. There are other instances where continuing with the pregnancy can be detrimental to the mother's health,” said Dr Nithya Ramamurthy, senior consultant gynaecologist and obstetrician, Fortis Malar Hospital.
With sex, abortion and related topics being hushed, women depend on over the counter (OTC) pills used for abortion.
“Pharmacists do not ask for prescriptions anymore. The government should ensure that OTC sale of drugs are banned,” said a senior consultant gynaecologist at a government hospital.
“Personally, I am against abortion and I wouldn't encourage my pati-ents to go for it,” she added. With youngsters becoming more open to pre-marital sex and polygamous sexual relationships, abortions are bound to rise, doctors and NGO workers said.
“Probably one of the reasons for the rise in abortions is the acceptance of the concept of 'live-in relationships' in our country,” said Geetha Narayanan, a researcher in the field of women's health.
Despite changes seen in society in terms of growth, it has been found that some still do not accept the concept of having a girl child. “As per the law, declaring the baby's gender is not allowed. However, some parents find it out and abort the baby if it's a girl,” said she.
“There are various factors why a woman may undergo abortion. They could be social reasons, pre-marital and extra marital affairs involved, illnesses of the baby or mother and abnormality of the child,” said Dr Sheela Gopinath of the department of family welfare.