In One Year, Abortion Killed Six Times More Nepalese Than 10-Year Civil War

Alissa Tabirian | October 17, 2013 | 2:37pm EDT
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A Nepalese physician examines a pregnant woman at a government- run hospital in Katmandu. (AP photo)

( – Six times more Nepalese were killed by abortion in just one year than the total number of casualties from Nepal's bloody 10-year civil war.

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) performed 119,000 “abortion-related services” in Nepal in 2011, according to data provided by the Family Planning Association of Nepal, IPPF's in-country member association, which was awarded  $3,149,112 in grants from IPPF last year.

That translates into more than 95,000 abortions, or 65 per day, according to the Nepal Medical Association. A quarter were performed on girls under the age of 18.

In contrast, the decade-long Nepalese civil war between government forces and the Communist Maoist party resulted in an estimated 15,000 casualties.

In May, Health Secretary Praveen Mishara told Asia News that "there is an abuse of abortion in Nepal,” where it has been legal under certain conditions since 2002, adding that it “is reaching alarming proportions.”  Dr. Bhola Rijal, former head of the medical association, agreed, adding that "the increase in abortions is causing a public health disaster in the country.”

The Nepalese government's National Women Commission reported that many Nepalese doctors are forcing women in the predominantly Hindu nation to undergo illegal abortions in an attempt to limit births among Nepal’s Christian and Muslim minorities.

Despite such abuses, IPPF’s yearly goals include expanding abortion services in countries such as Nepal.

“Through increased investment and technical expertise, the number of clients provided with a safe abortion service in the clinics increased by 28 per cent,” according to IPPF’s financial statement.

IPPF, which describes itself as “a global service provider and a leading advocate of sexual and reproductive rights for all,” is active in 172 countries, where it provided a total of 2.1 million “abortion-related services” last year.

The organization, which receives most of its funding from government grants, spent $122.9 million last year. Meanwhile, its income grew by “$17.1 million between 2011 and 2012, an increase of 13%,” according to IPPF’s 2012 financial statement. The U.S. government granted the group $115,000 in restricted funds in 2011.

IPPF is active in almost three times as many countries with a majority Christian population as countries that are majority Muslim. Ninety-five nations receiving “reproductive health” services from IPPF are predominantly Christian, including 40 in the Western Hemisphere, while another 35 are predominantly Muslim, according to data from the CIA World Factbook.

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