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Abortions shrink by 40% during Covid-19 pandemic

The abortions and medical termination of pregnancies (MTP) shrunk by nearly 40% in Mumbai affecting close to 11 lakh Mumbaikars and killing nearly 20,000 so far, according to a Times of India report.

The first year of lockdown witnessed a drop of 40% to 20,886 from an average of 35,000 abortions annually (April-March). However, in the succeeding year (April 2021-March 2022), the number rose to 28,804 as per Chetan Kothari, a Mumbai resident who got the information from the BMC under the RTI Act.

The decrease in number of MTPs and abortions can be attributed to poor access to abortion services in the city as per the health officials.

On the other hand, the civic officials linked the downfall to the couples being cautious and using temporary birth control measures.

Psychological impact of Covid-19 can be an add-on factor which resulted in couples delaying pregnancy.

While K-West ward registered the highest (2750) medical terminations, the B ward (Mohammed Ali Road) registered no MTP throughout the pandemic, said the TOI report attributing it to the BMC data.

The A ward reported 30 and 31 MTPs during the Covid-19 pandemic years.

A significant factor for this could be migration, said Health rights activist Dr Nikhil Datar. “Many families left the city during the first year of the pandemic but there could be other reasons as well,” TOI quoted Datar as saying.

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