Pakistan has one of the highest abortion rates in the world. A recent report by National Public Radio in the United States estimated that 48% of pregnancies were unwanted, and 54% of them were aborted. Abortion is actually used as contraception a posteriori. One-third of Pakistani women who have had an abortion then suffer from complications.
The law is vague regarding abortion: officially prohibited, it can, however, fall into the barely defined “necessary treatment” category that allows abortion for up to 120 days. However, public hospitals remain very reluctant to perform abortions.
Contraceptive use is low. This can be attributed to the mainly Muslim culture, which readily describes contraception as a “Western plot to reduce Muslim populations”, while having more children is often presented as providing an “essential service to spread the Ummah”.