Abortions and Menstrual Regulations in Cuba Increased by 14 Percent in the Last 13 Years

According to a study, Cuban women have an average of 1.14 children, the lowest rate in the region. (14ymedio)

14ymedio biggerEFE (via 14ymedio), Havana, June 12, 2023 — Abortions and menstrual regulations have increased by 14 percentage points between 2009 and 2022 in Cuba, according to the National Fertility Survey released this Wednesday in official media.

The study, which included 12,093 people (6,471 women and 5,622 men) between the ages of 15 and 54, interviewed in April 2022, showed that close to 35% of unwanted pregnancies on the Island ended in abortions or menstrual regulations (emptying of the uterus before confirmation of a pregnancy).

The last survey of this type carried out in Cuba dates back to 2009, when 21% of women of the same age range stated that they had resorted to terminating their pregnancy.

The 2022 study, carried out by the state National Office of Statistics and Information (Onei) with the support of UN agencies based in Cuba, also points out that 25.6% of the respondents said that they carried their pregnancy to term despite of not having wanted it.

Abortion has been legal in Cuba since 1965, although some experts have warned that the use of this practice as a contraceptive method can be considered a health problem.

The 2022 National Fertility Survey also reflects a low fertility rate among women between the ages of 15 and 49 and an increase in adolescent pregnancies.

According to the survey results, Cuban women have an average of 1.14 children, the lowest rate in the region (where the average is 1.85, according to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean) and equal to the low birth rates of industrialized countries.

In addition, the study indicates that only 21.2% of those surveyed stated that they plan to have children in general and that percentage drops to 9.3% when they are asked if they plan to have them in the next three years.

The survey also showed that 20% of women became pregnant at least once before the age of 18, and 15.6% of those between the ages of 15 and 19 have been pregnant.

The research showed that for the 84% of adolescents who became pregnant it was due to carelessness, which included, for 48%, the misuse of contraceptives.

Many women in Cuba postpone or do not contemplate starting a family due to the economic difficulties that the country is going through, from low wages and high inflation to the limitations to access to their own home and food, medicine and other basic products.


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