Written by Staff Writer
09 May, 2016 | 7:11 pm
The Ministry of Health has revealed that 658 abortions are performed in Sri Lanka on a daily basis. An intellectual dialogue on the topic, Should abortion be legalised? was held at the Health Education Bureau on Monday, May 9.
While abortion is illegal under existing laws in Sri Lanka, an abortion can only be performed if the mother’s life is endangered. However, health authorities say that many maternal mortalities are caused by illegal abortion, at present.
Head of the Family Planning Unit, Family Health Bureau, Dr. Sanjeewa Godakanda stated that 14 illegal abortions have taken place from the 112 cases of maternal morality that were reported in Sri Lanka in 2014, which is 12.5%.
Explaining further, he note that when analysing maternal mortality over the past few years, illegal abortion has been recorded as the second or third cause of maternal mortality. Incidentally, health authorities also point out that a majority of abortions in the country, are undertaken by married women.
He added that the main reason for seeking abortions is because they do not want more children, therefore they attempt to terminate unexpected pregnancy, or in some cases the last child is still very young and there isn’t much gap between pregnancies.
It was also revealed during the discussion that there is an increase among young men and women seeking abortions.
Chief Medical Officer of the Sri Jayawardenepura University, Dr. Shantha Hettiarachchi stated that for the past three and a half decades, Sri Lanka has not being living with a proper understanding of sex education considering the social and education system.
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