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Abortion at home – a dangerous tendency among Armenian women

According to official statistical data, 10 149 abortions were registered in Armenia in 2009.

The National Security Strategy of Armenia describes low birth rate as one of the threats to the country’s national security.

PanARMENIAN.Net - In 2003, the Armenian government adopted the strategy of protection of mothers and children for 2003-2015, which says in part: the programs aimed to improve mothers’ health envisage struggle against abortions, including prevention of artificial abortions and propaganda of healthy sexual life.”

The main goal of this strategy is to reduce the number of artificial abortions till 2015.

Despite all measures taken, the number of abortions performed in the post soviet countries remains extremely high. In Armenia, termination of early pregnancy is allowed, should the woman want it. According UN data, in 2004 Armenia was the 27th by the number of abortions performed (13.9 abortions per 1000 women). According to local statistical data, 10 149 abortions were registered in Armenia in 2009. At that, the number of abortions reduced twice in 2000 compared to 1983 (11 769 abortions in 2000 against 33 158 abortions in 1983).

However, it’s hard to determine the real number of abortions, as a large number of Armenian women prefer to induce abortion at home, a phenomenon gynecologists describe as a dangerous tendency.

“Abortion is always an undesirable process for a woman, as its negative consequences can never be excluded. There is no safe abortion and the doctor’s task is to minimize possible complications. The worst problem today is that women often induce abortion at home, taking in special medicines without consulting doctors. You can buy these medicines in drugstores without prescription. I am deeply concerned that our women use these medicines without medical consultation,” gynecologist Lusine Titiryan said in a conversation with a PanARMENIAN.Net reporter.

She is also concerned over the increase of the number abortions among teenagers. There is no statistical data regarding abortions among women aging 15-20, as these are not registered in most cases.

Women should also remember that under article 10.5 of the RA Law on Reproductive Health, women in Armenia can receive free of charge medical consultation on medicines preventing undesirable pregnancy.

According to World Health Organization (WHO) research, the number of induced abortions declined worldwide between 1995 and 2003, from nearly 46 million to approximately 42 million. About one in five pregnancies worldwide end in abortion.

Most abortions occur in developing countries - 35 million annually, compared with seven million in developed countries. More than one-third of the approximately 205 million pregnancies that occur worldwide annually are unintended, and about 20% of all pregnancies end in induced abortion.

Between 1998 and 2007, the grounds on which abortion may be legally performed were broadened in 16 countries: Benin, Bhutan, Chad, Colombia, Ethiopia, Guinea, Iran, Mali, Nepal, Niger, Portugal, Saint Lucia, Swaziland, Switzerland, Thailand and Togo. Two territories and one state in Australia and six states in Mexico also liberalized their laws. In contrast, El Salvador and Nicaragua changed their already restrictive laws to prohibit abortion entirely.

Yekaterina Poghosyan / PanARMENIAN News
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