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IPS Examines High Abortion Rate Among Teenagers In Cuba

Inter Press Service examines abortion in Cuba, where the procedure is legal, noting, “Three times as many teenagers terminate their pregnancies than carry them to term” in the country. “Having 76 percent of pregnant teenagers electing to abort ‘is a public health problem,’ said Dr. Jorge Peláez, vice president of the Cuban Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology,” IPS writes. “The difficulty is the rising rate of underage pregnancy in this Caribbean island nation,” according to the news service, which adds, “In this country with a very low birth rate, teenagers account for 16 percent of total fertility.” The news service provides a brief history of the decriminalization of abortion in the country, noting “[o]ver time, abortions became a means of regulating personal fertility.” IPS adds, “In July, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) expressed concern at Cuba’s ‘high rate of abortion, especially among girls as young as 12 years old,’ and urged it to ‘increase access, as well as use of effective and high quality methods of contraception towards reducing the practice of abortion as a method of family planning’” (González, 9/6).