Mumbai- Do NOT link increase in the number of abortions to sex-determination tests

Mumbai recorded 44% more abortions last year
Pratibha Masand & Malathy Iyer TIMES NEWS NETWORK

Mumbai: Mumbai witnessed a 44% rise in the number of abortions last year, data from the city’s municipal body has shown.While 19,701 abortions were registered in 2011, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) data from various public and private hospitals and nursing homes in 2012 showed 28,455 abortions.
Experts say the increase in the number of abortions shouldn’t be linked to sex-determination tests. “Most of these abortions have been carried out in the first trimester when it isn’t possible to detect the sex of the fetus,” said adoctor with a BMC hospital.
So what is the reason for the sudden increase? Public health officials say this is largely due to better reporting of data by hospitals aided on by computerization.
“The 2012 data is absolutely accurate in terms of reporting. Because of the stringent following of the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) law, most MTP centres started reporting abortions accurately,” said Arun Bamne, BMC’s executive health officer. He added that some areas are bound to have more number of abortions owing to better healthcare facilities.
In 2011-2012, the state started a widespread crackdown on doctors and clinics for not adhering to PCPNDT rules and took action against over 400 doctors. In the same period, it also started a check on abortion clinics.
Rekha Daver, who heads the gynaecology department of the state-run JJ Hospital, believes computerization is the main reason. “Most hospitals have to report their numbers online to the government or local municipal corporation website. The 44% increase is most likely due to computerized reporting,” said Daver.
Many experts feel there is another reason — fewer options for women with regard to the method of abortion. After the crackdown on doctors last year as well as on chemists stocking abortion pills, women have had no option but to opt for surgical abortion at hospitals. Nikhil Datar, a gynaecologist, said, “It could be the result of better reporting of both medical and surgical abortions.”
Incidentally, many feel that abortion data rarely shows the entire picture. Some non-governmental organizations feel abortions are under-reported. “In India, an estimated 6.6 million abortions take place each year. But the government records only 6.6 lakh of them,” said Nozer Sheriar, secretary general of the Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India.
But experts say it is not possible to detect a pattern in the number of abortions over the years. “With the increase in population, the number of abortions are bound to go up as abortions are always a percentage of the population; but the awareness about contraceptives has gone up too,” said Sheriar.



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  1. Trackback: BMC – Keep Off Privatising Education #mustread | kracktivist

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