New Delhi: An RTI has revealed that over 50 abortions in Delhi take place in government hospitals.In four years, there were 88,188 abortions.
Rajhans Bansal, the activist who filed the RTI, said: "The number of legal abortions taking place in public hospitals is very high. It should be investigated if people are using medical ground as an alibi for sex-selective abortion. In private sector, it is common."
The RTI data reveals in 2008-09, total 40,238 children were aborted in Delhi's public hospitals. There was a drastic decline in the number of abortion next year with figures coming down to 13, 850 but it went up again in 2010-11 with 15,157 such cases.
In 2011-12 again, nearly 19,000 abortions were conducted across hospitals. Bansal said he applied for the information more than a year ago but received the reply only recently after approaching the Central Information Commission.
Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) is legal and it allows abortion on medical grounds, including abnormalities in the foetus, contraceptive failure and risk to the mother's physical and mental health.
Dr D K Dewan, director of the Delhi's health and family welfare department, refused to comment on the RTI data. "I cannot talk about it right now. You have to meet me in person for that," he said.
Ranjana Kumari, director Center for Social Research, said the figure on abortions in public hospitals is just a tip of the iceberg. "More than 80% of medical abortions take place in private nursing homes and by private practitioners," she said.