TRIVANDRUM, October 30, 2003 ( – Kerala, the southernmost state in India, has seen a horrific 165% rise in abortions in the last two years according to a survey conducted by the women’s magazine Vanitha.  The India Times reports that senior gynaecologist Leela Mathew of the Malayala Manorama group said the availability of abortion-inducing drugs have contributed to the trend.  The state health department shows that induced abortions in government-run hospitals shot up from 16,339 in 1999 to 43,368 in 2001-02, an increase of 165%.  The paper reports that there are 651 government and private hospitals in the state that have the required licence to perform abortion with drugs referred to as “medical termination of pregnancy”.

Health Minister P Sankaran said, “I understand that doctors charge anything between Rs 10,000 to Rs 25,000 for performing an abortion. It is lucrative business for them.”  See the India Times coverage: