Media Coverage

Council research on birth rates in Pakistan highlighted on NPR Morning Edition

Photo credit: Diaa Hadid/NPR

Population Council research on birth and abortion rates in Pakistan was featured in National Public Radio’s syndicated news program "Morning Edition.”

The program highlights a 2012 study by the Population Council that showed Pakistan's abortion rate is 50 abortions for every 1,000 women aged 15 to 44, making it one of the highest rates of abortion in the world.

The Council's Pakistan country director, Zeba Sathar, shared what Council research reveals about the reality for pregnant women in the country, as well as the need for both access to and awareness of family planning.

Pakistani women largely seek abortions because they either don't know about contraception or cannot access reliable contraception — or they've stopped using contraception after suffering complications, Sathar says. According to her research, most of the women who seek abortions are married, poor and already have children. Only 30 percent of fertile-age women use modern contraceptives, according to a 2017 U.N. report.

"We found to our surprise that most of the women had more than three children, maybe as many as five," Sathar says. "They were almost all — 90 to 95 percent — married. They were older, so they tended to be poorer, less educated."

Read more at NPR.