India Has One of the Highest Abortion Rates in the World

  • The number of abortions in India is over 21 times higher than government reports, says study
  • India’s abortion rate is on a par with communist China and its forced abortions
  • Study used by pro-abortionists to call for looser laws, more contraception, greater abortion access
  • Now an Indian court rules women have a right to abort all the way up to birth

MUMBAI, India, July 18, +2019 (HLI):  India has over twenty-one times the number of abortions than the nation’s government officially admits, and a new court ruling may triple that number.

A study published in the Lancet Health Global medical journal found that at least 15.6 million abortions are committed every year.  The government had been consistently reporting about 700,000, but that doesn’t count private abortuaries or self-administered “at home” chemical abortions.

HLI Mission to schoolchildren in India (2019)

While in the U.S. abortions have gone consistently down from a 1.4 million high in 1990, the alarming 15.6 million Indian figure puts the country on a par with communist China and its forced abortion policy.

Every year, 47 Indian women out of 1000 commit an abortion.  Fully one-third of all babies conceived are killed before they see the light of day.

The abortion rate in the U.S. is about 12 per 1,000 childbearing-aged women.  Communist China, under its forced abortion policy, had an abortion rate of about 28 per 1,000.

The December study was conducted by the Planned Parenthood-founded Guttmacher Institute, and was designed to expose illegal abortions and “at home” chemical abortions, so as to argue for increased promotion and distribution of contraceptives and increased abortion access.

“Most abortions are happening without prescriptions and outside of facilities via chemists and informal vendors,” the study’s authors wrote.  “Indian women are taking the procedure into their own hands.”

The Guttmacher study was authored with New York City’s notoriously liberal Population Council and the pro-abortion International Institute for Population Sciences.  Not surprisingly, they agree that abortion and contraception need to be even more readily available.

The word, “rare,” was not in their vocabulary.

“Unintended pregnancy is a strong indicator of the need for improvement in contraceptive services,” the study’s authors claim.  But data gleaned by the Guttmacher Institute itself admitted only four percent of married women who do not use contraception said they didn’t because of a lack of access.

Indian abortion law, among the most liberal in Asia, legalizes abortion for any reason up to twelve weeks gestation, and with physician approval up to twenty weeks for any reason.  Nevertheless, the study calls for even greater liberalization of the law to allow late-term abortion-on-demand.

The study emphasized that 81 percent of aborters take life-threatening drugs, killing their babies at home, without a doctor’s supervision and many without even counseling.

Arguing for more abortions in hospitals, Dr Chandra Shekhar of Mumbai’s International Institute for Population Sciences admitted that abortions are the third leading cause of maternal death.  She claimed ten women die every day from what she termed “unsafe” abortions.

Abortion proponents also object to parental or guardian consent laws, advocate non-physicians commit abortions, and support decriminalizing sex-selection abortions.

The government has not responded to the Guttmacher study, but the court system has.  The Delhi High Court ruled Friday that the law’s 20-week limit may be disregarded in cases of “abnormality.”  Reports are not clear as to how insignificant an “abnormality” may qualify.

The court agreed with a 25-week pregnant mother, who said a 20 week limit was “arbitrary, harsh, discriminatory and violates…the Constitution of India.”  LifeSiteNews pointed out that the law was enacted to protect women, as late-term abortions are “a very risky, multiple day procedure that can kill the mother as well as her unborn baby.”

HLI Regional Director for Asia Oceania, lecturing to Health Care workers in India, 2018.

The High Court wrote that the “rigor” of India’s law “deserves to be relaxed, and the right to terminate the pregnancy cannot be denied merely because gestation has continued beyond 20 weeks.”  Then, in an amazing example of judicial doublespeak, the justices justified the murder of preborn human beings by saying, “Law, needless to say, cannot be construed in a manner incompatible with life.”

Advocates for life criticize the Guttmacher study’s conclusion, and warn its initial success in turning judges toward a pro-abortion ruling will lead only to more promiscuity, more pregnancies, and more abortions.

More contraception does not translate into less unintended pregnancies, but more –and more abortions.  “Contraception drastically alter(s) sexual behavior, with routine casual sex becoming the norm,” Fr. Shenan J. Boquet explains.  “It fundamentally changes the way men and women relate to one another, the kinds of sexual behavior society deems acceptable, the way we pursue romance, the meaning of marriage, the values that people treasure, the education our children receive, the entertainment we watch, the structure of the family, the physical and psychological health of our populace.”

Prolifers point out that Planned Parenthood International, the Guttmacher Institute, and the Population Council’s promotion of abortion worldwide is not motivated by concern for women, but is part of a racist agenda begun years ago with a eugenic goal.

HLI Goa, India is raising awareness (2019)

Fr. Boquet explains that the root of the problem is sexual licentiousness, aided by the sexual revolution separating sex from marriage and procreation.

“Once sex became viewed as just another pleasurable pastime, rather than the immensely sacred, powerful, and private act by which a married couple express their love for one another and create new life, there was nothing stopping all manner of sexual excess,” the priest said.

History has proved him right.  Since the sexual revolution, divorce rates are dramatically up, STDs are at epidemic levels, teen pregnancies have exploded, and the society-upholding institution of the family has broken down as single motherhood has almost begun to outnumber normal, two-biological parent families.  Additionally, sexual confusion is ubiquitous, with homosexuality paraded in the streets, gender dysphoria encouraged in public schools, and pornography at the click of a button legally degrading women in increasingly disgusting ways.

Far from “empowering” women, artificial contraception turns many women suicidal.  If Indian judges and state authorities truly cared about the health and well-being of female citizens, they would discourage artificial contraception, which can and does cause cancer, blood clots, heart attacks, stroke, weight gain, headaches, and nausea –and much more.


ASPAC, The Asia Pacific Congress on Faith, Life and Family in Thailand, 2017. – More at:

Human Life International is working to bring India and all of Asia’s pro-life minds together.  HLI’s Asia-Pacific Congress (ASPAC) on Faith, Life and Family is the biggest gathering of pro-life leaders in Asia and Oceania.  ASPAC is a training ground for pro-life leaders and future leaders to be able to efficiently and effectively defend life in their respective countries.

The 22nd Asia-Pacific Congress on Faith, Life and Family will take place in Kerala, India this year.  ASPAC dates are January 17-19, 2020, with check in the days before and after.  An optional ASPAC pilgrimage follows January 20-22.

HLI will be featuring monthly, in-depth perspectives on India over the next months, culminating in ASPAC. Please contact us at for registration details.

The Very Reverend Dr. Mark Hodges is an archpriest in the Orthodox Church. Ordained in 1995, he and his wife of 36 years, Presbytera Donna, have eight children and seventeen grandchildren (counting one due in November and counting four miscarriages). All are married except two, one of which is 21-year old Micah, an abandoned autistic boy the Hodges adopted at age five. After high school, Father Mark underwent a personal crisis which led to a deeper conversion to the Lord Jesus. From that time on, his favorite scripture became Philippians 1:21, "To me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” He obtained a second Master’s With an undergraduate degree in Education and a Master’s in Psychological Counseling, later a second master’s in Orthodox Theology. Having served as everything from church pastor to hospital chaplain, he eventually founded St. Stephen the First Martyr Orthodox Mission in Lima, Ohio. To make ends meet he has also distinguished himself as a journalist for LifeSiteNews and other news outlets, anchored and produced for WTGN radio, worked as a professor and is secretary to the Lima/Allen County Right to Life Chapter and served on the Ohio Right to Life Education Committee. As a “P.S.” he was nearly an undergraduate major in theater and music, still loves to play keyboard to the drums and trombone - mostly for his family - but if life slows down he has a second career ready to go! Besides offices held in the Orthodox church, he is an author and has recorded three CDS. He also enjoys watching movies with his sweetheart in the evenings.

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