Nil foeticide cases and negligible stillbirths in Kerala, finds survey

All you need to know about Covid vaccination for pregnant women.(photo:IANSLIFE)
The national abortion rate was 2.9 per cent as per the survey. Representative image/IANS

New Delhi: The latest National Family Health Survey has come up with some interesting findings related to pregnancy. It revealed that 6.2 per cent of pregnancies were aborted in Kerala owing to health reasons, compared to the national average of 7.3 per cent. In addition, 3.2 per cent of the pregnancies were terminated in the state, leading to a total abortion rate of 9.6 per cent.

The national abortion rate was 2.9 per cent as per the survey.

According to the survey, the main causes for abortions in Kerala were complicated pregnancy (22.1 per cent), poor health of mother (17.8 per cent), unwanted pregnancy (17.7 per cent) and abnormalities in the foetus (16 per cent).

On an all-India level, Manipur had the highest termination rate of 10.4 per cent, followed by Tripura (7 per cent), Delhi (5.7 per cent), Goa (4.8 per cent), Tamil Nadu (4.4 per cent), Maharashtra (4 per cent) and Bengal (3.6 per cent). These states were ahead of Kerala, which had a rate of 3.2 per cent.

At the same time, states where the termination rate was lesser than that of Kerala include Rajasthan (1.5 per cent), Bihar (1.7 per cent), Gujarat (2 per cent), Karnataka (2.4 per cent), UP (3.1 per cent) and Punjab (3.1 per cent).

Around the country, 4.1 per cent pregnancies were terminated because the husband or mother-in-law did not want a child. Also, 3.4 per cent of pregnant women resorted to termination owing to economic reasons. Such cases were not reported in Kerala.

The survey was conducted among women of the 15-49 age group during 2019-21 and considered their situation over the previous five years.

Stillbirths low
The survey also states that Kerala was better placed in stillbirths also, with a figure of 0.2 per cent compared to 0.9 in the country.

Foeticide figures
Yet another serious finding of the survey related to female foeticide. Medical termination of pregnancy when the foetus is found to be female was reported in 2.1 per cent cases. At the same time, the male foeticide rate was 0.4 per cent. Incidentally, both these situations did not exist in Kerala.

States where the highest female foeticide rate was recorded include, Goa (7.3 per cent), Bihar (5.3 per cent), Jharkhand (4.9 per cent), Punjab (4.2 per cent), Karnataka (3 per cent) and UP (2.7 per cent).

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