Assessing Potential for Induced Abortion among Indian Women

Udaya S Mishra, Centre for Development Studies
T R. Dilip, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, New Delhi

Given the apprehension regarding the rise in induced abortion among Indian women, though not reported in surveys, this paper provides an indirect estimate of induced abortions among Indian women using the NFHS-2 data sets. It obtains the share of induced abortion attributable to sex selection in achieving desired sex composition of children and its use as a means of contraception to avoid unwanted births. Estimates reveal that induced abortion due to sex selection is 74 per 1000 live births and that due to contraception is 115 per thousand live births in India. On the whole, the estimates are consistent, suggesting a high level of use of abortion as a contraceptive method in the country.

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Presented in Session 55: Induced Abortion