180,000 abortions in Delhi in five years
New Delhi: More than 180,000 abortions took place in the Indian capital in the last five years, according to information provided to a RTI activist.
The maximum number of cases came to light from west Delhi followed by south Delhi.
The Delhi government provided the statistics in response to a query from Right to Information (RTI) applicant Mannish Bhatnagar.
A total of 180,301 abortions took place in the city between 2007 and 2011.
Till July this year, 1,628 abortions were conducted in northwest Delhi. Similar statistics for 2012 for other parts of the capital were not available.
Bhatnagar sought to know the total number of abortions in Delhi in order to determine the number of female foeticide cases.
Bhatnagar said that he was also looking for the sex of the aborted foetus.
He said while the government had revealed the total number of abortions, they provided no other details.
According to the RTI reply, Delhi's west district reported the maximum cases of abortions (43,631 cases).
The south district accounted for 37,664 cases. East Delhi came next with 27,257 abortions, followed by north-east district (21,170).
Central and New Delhi districts together accounted for 19,081 abortions.
South-West district saw 15,301 cases, North-West 10,449 and North district 5,748 abortions.
According to gynaecology expert Rinku Sengupta Dhar, abortion is legal up to 12 to 20 weeks of pregnancy but with the recommendation of a doctor.
Dhar, attending consultant at the Sitaram Bhartiya Institute of Science and Research, told IANS: "Up to 12 to 20 weeks, a woman can undergo an abortion process only for specific reasons - like if a pregnant woman has a serious medical disease and continuation of pregnancy could endanger her life, if continuation of pregnancy could lead to substantial risk to the newborn leading to serious physical or mental handicaps or if pregnancy resulting of rape."
"Abortion can be said to be legal if recommended by doctors in a specific situation but only up to 12 to 20 weeks (after pregnancy). After 20 weeks, abortion is illegal in India.
"Only adults are allowed to go for abortions. But in some cases like unwanted teenage pregnancy and rape, abortion of minors can be done with guardian's permission," she added.