SANTIAGO – Chile has the highest abortion rate in Latin America, with some 40,000 illegal procedures carried out annually, according to a new report. The findings were presented Monday by Aníbal Faundez,
a physician and coordinator of the sexual and reproductive rights committee of the International Federation of Gynecologists and Obstetricians.
Fifty out of every 1,000 Chilean women of reproductive age undergo illegal abortions, while the rate ranges between 60-70 out of 1,000 in Russia, Romania and Vietnam – countries with the world’s highest voluntary pregnancy-termination rates.
Abortions of any kind are illegal in Chile, while therapeutic abortions are legal in countries like Colombia and Brazil, where 30 and 40, respectively, out of every 1,000 women of reproductive age undergo the procedure.Women in these countries may also terminate pregnancies legally under other circumstances, like in the case of rape.
In Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands the abortion rate runs at less than 10 in 1,000, though the procedure is legal in these countries, according to the study.
Following a sexual health seminar, Faundez told the press that what was remarkable about the findings was that abortion rates were lower in countries where the practice was legal.
Chile has the “lowest maternal mortality rate for miscarriages, but without a doubt it has the highest (induced) abortion rate in the region,” Faundez said.
By EFE News Service