Induced abortion practices in Bengali-speaking communities: a preliminary study


  • Sahid Afrid Mollick Anthropological Survey of India, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
  • Sayak Chakraborty Anthropological Survey of India, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
  • Supriya Ray Anthropological Survey of India, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
  • Subhashree Das Anthropological Survey of India, Kolkata, West Bengal, India



Abortion, Pregnancy, Bengali, Socio-economic, Education


Background: Abortion is termed as ‘medical termination of a pregnancy’ (MTP). In India, abortion can be performed until 24 weeks of pregnancy according to the MTP Amendment Act 2021 which came into effect on 24th September 2021. The topic of abortion is still hotly debated in India and considered taboo in numerous circles. There has been a recent surge in liberal outlook when it comes to perspectives on social issues. However, creases of worry appear on the forehead when a woman faces the issue of making a decision in such matter. The hindrance comes from reasons such as: abortion is illegal, religious beliefs are against abortion, social taboo against abortion, and other factors.

Methods: A mixed-method study was conducted using a systematic random sampling method at the Family Planning Hospital, Park Circus, Kolkata. Reproductive histories were collected from 120 women, belonging to reproductive age 20-50 years. Using structured schedule, individual face-to-face and in-depth interviews were conducted.

Results: We were confronted with four recurring factors that negatively impacted on their family planning processes which led to an increased rate of abortion. We also found that abortion has a significant relationship with maternal age, education of the mother, family income, and number of parity.

Conclusions: Maternal age, religious beliefs, education, family income, number of parity and also knowledge on legal abortion ware the major decisive factor associated with abortion. Poorest, younger, uneducated, women who had tendency to minimize family size were more likely to undergo abortion.

Author Biographies

Sahid Afrid Mollick, Anthropological Survey of India, Kolkata, West Bengal, India


Sayak Chakraborty, Anthropological Survey of India, Kolkata, West Bengal, India


Supriya Ray, Anthropological Survey of India, Kolkata, West Bengal, India


Subhashree Das, Anthropological Survey of India, Kolkata, West Bengal, India



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