ARROW: Young and Vulnerable – The Reality of Unsafe Abortion among Adolescent and Young Women


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Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women

The Asia-Pacific is home to over a billion people between the ages of 10-24 but data on the incidence of induced abortion among this group are sparse, unrepresentative and incomplete, especially with respect to unmarried women. Estimates in Asia using national/subnational data range from 1-15% of all abortions; micro studies indicate much higher proportions. On the other hand, except for Australia and New Zealand, Pacific data are unavailable.

In most parts of the Asia-Pacific, the majority of young abortion seekers are unmarried. In South Asia, where 32% of 15-19 year olds are married and almost all women are married by age however, most unwanted pregnancies occur within marriage in the context of delaying a first birth or spacing a subsequent one. However, even in this subregion, incidence of pregnancies among unmarried teenagers is on the rise, especially in urban areas.


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