Background: The unmet need for family planning and abortion services is already high in India. A total, of 15.6 million abortions take place in India annually, of which 11.5 million occur outside of health facilities, mainly through medication abortion. COVID-19 has exacerbated the situation by reducing access, availability and affordability of safe abortion and family planning in India.
Methods: Retrospective study carried out in 31 Clinics of the Parivar Seva Sanstha in 11 states. Data of women who were treated for Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) and incomplete abortion between the periods of January 2019 to December 2020 was obtained from the records for analysis. Frequency was obtained to compare the abortion service availed by women from clinics in 2019 and 2020.
Results: The total frequency of other abortion increased from 38.1% to 41.2% while Medical termination of pregnancy decreased 61.9% to 58.8% between 2019- 2020. During the lockdown period (25th March – 30th May) marked decreased in total number of abortion while proportion of other abortion increased while MTP done decreased. Majority of women belonged to Hindu religion, most of them from low socio income groups.
Conclusion: There was a marked decrease in the number of total abortions during the Covid 19 pandemic, the proportion of women seeking other abortion was more as compared to that during the pre Covid period. The COVID-19 emergency is pushing Government to strengthen health care system and improve the quality of medical training and services.
Thakur N, Chakrabarty S and Sharma S. 2021. Factors Associated with Abortion and Sterilization: A Temporal Study across Four States in India. Human Biology Review, 10 (2), 188-199.