Background: Abortion is the termination of a pregnancy by expulsion of an embryo or foetus. In Pakistan, 54% of the 4.2 million unintentional pregnancies were terminated deliberately. Given the taboo around the subject, abortions are filled with unnecessary risk and fear, legal and physical. Our work intends to shed light on the factors that limit this taboo, exploring the line beyond which abortion is considered acceptable.
Aim: To explore the limits of the taboo around abortion; to explore the extent to which certain taboos apply and deduce circumstances that deem abortion an acceptable practice.
Methods: A sociological and statistical snow-ball type of semi-quantitative, semi-qualitative study was conducted. The study was carried out on the general adult Pakistani population, with focused groups of medical students, non-medical students, and non-students belonging to different employment status. A questionnaire-based survey was implemented. Several people were interviewed as well.
Conclusion: The majority of participants were accepting of abortion in case of severe physical health issues. For questions involving mental health, majority of the population disagreed with abortion as a considerable option. However, the entire population strongly agreed with the fact that awareness regarding abortion is inadequate and there needs further light to be shed on it.
Keywords: abortion, taboo, mental health, awareness