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Half Of All Pregnancies in Pakistan Every Year Are Unplanned, 54% End In Abortions: Report

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A story published in the AFP about a woman from Peshawar, Zarmeena (assumed name), highlights the problems faced by Pakistani women, especially married ones when it comes to family planning.

Zarmeena told AFP that despite the doctors advising her not to conceive anymore, her husband continues to insist to have more kids and trust in God.

She said she could face severe health problems due to pregnancies, but she cannot say no to her husband. “My husband is a religious man… he wants a line of sons,” Zarmeena said.

The woman from Peshawar also said that her mother in law had 9 kids, therefore every time she tells her husband she cannot have more babies, he says: “If my mother didn’t die, what makes you think you would?”

According to a report published by United States (US) based research firm Guttmacher Institute in 2015, half of the pregnancies each year in Pakistan are unplanned and 54% of the unplanned pregnancies end in termination and abortions.

Abortion is allowed in Pakistan if the health of mother is in danger, but most doctors refuse to perform it since it goes against their faith.

This leads women to choose illegal ways to terminate pregnancies, ultimately placing their lives in danger, the AFP story said.

In a 2012 report published by New York-based Population Council, Pakistan had the one of the highest rate of abortions in the world.

That was 50 among every 1000 girls aged 14-15 years of age. The country also has high rates of unintended pregnancies due to lack of knowledge about contraception and methods.

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A survey conducted by Pakistan Demographic and Health Department in 2017-18 reveals only 34% of the total women surveyed used some kind of family planning, while only 25% had knowledge of contraception.

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Naya Daur