GHANA, July 24, 2012 ( – The Ministry of Health in Ghana has reported there were 16,182 abortions in 2011, almost double the number in 2009 when there were 8,717 abortions. In 2010 there were 10 875 recorded abortions.

Of these 16,182 abortions, 216 were for girls aged 10 to 14, 7,800 for girls aged 15 to 19, and 7,800 for women aged 20-24.

Dr Patrick Aboagye, Deputy Director of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) in charge of Reproductive and Child Health, told the Daily Graphic in Accra that the rise in the abortion statistics is due to increased reporting from abortion facilities, but also suggested that more wealthy and educated urban women are choosing to have abortions to not “hamper their progress.”

Abortion is currently illegal in Ghana except in cases of rape or incest, if the pregnancy is judged to threaten the woman’s physical or mental health, or if there is “substantial risk” of fetal abnormality. In practice this means that most cases are deemed legal.