Nestled in the dusty crevices of Temple Road, the discreet abortion clinics of Lahore are a well-kept secret. While most people know about them, they refrain from talking about it openly.

In a country where only 30 percent women use contraceptives, induced abortion is used as a way of birth control. However, contrary to popular belief, the procedure is more common in married women as opposed to young girls and un-wed mothers.

Another reason that makes these informal clinics a popular choice is the relatively lower cost. Most informal practitioners charge less than half the price a doctor would charge for the same procedure. Many doctors also avoid performing abortions due to legal complications.

The probability of complications such as excessive bleeding, disabilities and even infertility is much higher in these informal procedures. There is a dire need to introduce timely family planning methods in the country in order to prevent the loss of lives and risks associated with such procedures

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