Pakistani women seek abortions as birth control

19 February, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Pakistani women seek abortions as birth control

PESHAWAR: Pregnant, desperate, and poor, Pakistani mother Zameena faced a stark choice: risk her life by having a secret abortion, or risk her life bearing her husband a sixth child, reports AFP.

In the end, she opted for the former, one of more than two million women a year to do so in a country where religious leaders are critical of family planning measures and there is a lack of sex education and access to contraception. Almost half of all pregnancies in Pakistan—around 4.2 million each year—are unplanned and around 54 percent of those end in termination, according to a report by US research firm Guttmacher Institute.

“Three years ago, when my daughter was born, the doctor told me that I should stop having babies because it would be bad for my health,” said Zameena, using an assumed name, from her home in the northwest city of Peshawar.

“But whenever I say that to my husband, he tells me to trust God,” the 35-year-old added. “My husband is a religious man... he wants to have a line of sons.”