Abortion in Pakistan
Pakistani women are using abortion as part of their strategy to avoid unwanted or mistimed births, not withstanding the illegality of the procedure and the considerable health risks it entails, as evidenced by the large number hospitalized for treatment of complications each year. The need to seek recourse to abortion is likely to be especially prevalent among women who fear that contraceptives will damage their health, who believe that their husbands object to family planning, or who feel that religious and social norms do not endorse contraceptive use. In addition, many women may have difficulty obtaining the modern methods they need. Under current circumstances, many Pakistani women are paying with their health—and even their lives—to avoid births that they cannot afford or do not want. Helping them avert unintended pregnancy and supporting them in achieving their fertility goals would significantly reduce maternal morbidity and mortality and the associated costs to families, communities and society as a whole.