India – Abortions: 61 lakh in five years, but issues remain

Abortions: 61 lakh in five years, but issues remain

December 11, 2019
By Kerean Watts

Giving a written reply to a question posed in the Lok Sabha, Choubey said that the Government was taking steps to ensure access to safe abortions in the country through the Centre’s programme concerning reproductive maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health and nutrition. In addition, he informed that states and union territories are provided with support to provide comprehensive abortion care under the National Health Mission, including certifying facilities operated by the private sector and non-government organisations where safe and comprehensive abortion care is provided.

Unsafe abortion is a major issue in India. As many as 56 percent of such procedures carried out in the country are considered to be unsafe, with unsafe abortions responsible for the deaths of thirteen women every day in India.


India – A pregnant silence on reproductive rights of women

A pregnant silence on reproductive rights of women
The country needs to recognise the wrongs and affirm the rights for advancing women’s sexual and reproductive health

Monday, 25 November 2019
Prabhleen Tuteja

Young women (15-24 years) constitute 11 per cent of India’s population, out of whom 41 per cent have faced sexual violence, 27 per cent are married before the legal age and 7.8 per cent (15-19 years) become mothers or are pregnant. The data on access to information on contraceptives reveals that only 17.7 per cent were informed about family planning by health workers and just 6.9 per cent women in Bihar and 11.6 per cent in Uttar Pradesh (UP) reported using contraceptives within marriage.

The policy level commitments on health, education and gender parity often look in absolute terms of changing certain societal norms through cash transfer based schemes, number of girls reported to be married before the legal age of marriage, status of body mass index and nutrition and sometimes enrollment in school and skill development among women. While evidence in these parameters are significant, this skewed approach to gender equality leaves out a range of issues, including prevalence of sexual violence and status of accessible sexual and reproductive health services. Stigma and fear attached to young women’s sexuality act as a major barrier in achieving gender equality.


Indian Women Are Fighting Stigma by Sharing Their Personal Abortion Stories

Indian Women Are Fighting Stigma by Sharing Their Personal Abortion Stories
The My Body My Choice campaign is creating a safe space through which abortion can be discussed and understood openly by women in India.

by Meera Navlakha
20 November 2019

“I had just turned 26, my partner was without a job [and] I was struggling to figure out life,” said one anonymous woman in a post released on Instagram by the My Body My Choice campaign. She explains how she found out she was pregnant, after days of feeling dizzy. “What began after that was an excruciating process of figuring out how, when and where to seek an abortion.”

“My stomach would cramp all of a sudden and I’d feel the deepest sense of loss,” said another woman, describing her abortion story.


Being a Feminist Gynaecologist in the Patriarchal World of Medicine | #MyGynaecStory

Being a Feminist Gynaecologist in the Patriarchal World of Medicine | #MyGynaecStory

Posted on 20 November, 2019
by Suchitra Dalvie

This piece has been published as a part of the Health Over Stigma campaign, which is aimed at dismantling the stigma surrounding sexual health of unmarried women, and demanding accountability from medical service providers for stigma-free, non judgemental sexual and reproductive healthcare services. In this piece, a senior gynaecologist who is associated with the campaign reflects on being a feminist gynaecologist in a patriarchal medical universe.

As a woman and a feminist I am beyond delighted to see this campaign!

It is time for us to claim rights over our own bodies and the narratives of our sexual and reproductive lives. It is critical to start holding accountable the systems that have ignored, oppressed and failed us repeatedly. It is vital to create a new world where this becomes the norm.


Three reasons why abortion remains a legal taboo in Malaysia

Three reasons why abortion remains a legal taboo in Malaysia

Monday, 18 Nov 2019

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 18 — Malaysia is one of the few Muslim-majority countries in the world where it is legal to get an abortion.

Despite this, many women and those with birthing bodies still face a multitude of barriers that prevent them from terminating an unwanted pregnancy.


Nepal – Bajura sees growth in access to safe abortion services

Bajura sees growth in access to safe abortion services

Published On: November 17, 2019
By: Krishna Oli

BAJURA, Nov 17: Bajura, a remote district in the far western hills of the country, has fared well in terms of safe abortion. As per the government record, as many as 865 women received safe abortion service through government-run health centers in the district. Of the total 28 health centers in the district, 15 health centers have been providing abortion service to women.

Chief of the District Hospital Bajura, Dr Rupchandra Bishwokarma, finds the scenario encouraging. In the past, women would commonly use unsafe ways to end unwanted pregnancy, but as the safer facilities have been made accessible they have started seeking medical help for abortion, he noted.


Pakistan – Opposition, treasury in Sindh Assembly join hands to pass reproductive healthcare rights law

Opposition, treasury in Sindh Assembly join hands to pass reproductive healthcare rights law

Hasan Mansoor
Updated November 14, 2019

KARACHI: The Sindh Assembly on Wednesday unanimously passed the Sindh Reproductive Healthcare Rights Bill aimed at promoting the reproductive healthcare rights of men and women and taking care of complications with regard to pregnancy and childbirth.

The bill was originally handed to the standing committee on health a month earlier, which returned it to the house after necessary tweaking.


CHINA – One Child Nation: documentary film

CHINA – One Child Nation: documentary film

by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Nov 8, 2019

Filmmakers Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang provide a very personal history of China’s one-child policy and how several generations of parents and children have been affected by the enforced policy of one-child families from 1979 to 2015. This powerful and controversial documentary, in English and Mandarin, shows the policy to be a cruel and tragic experiment in big-government meddling in the composition of families by the state whose after-effects persist. Women were forced to have abortions, there were forced sterilisations, babies were abandoned, but at the same time government policy aimed to reduce population growth in a country dealing with extreme poverty among a quarter of the world’s population. ‘We are fighting a population war’ was a common slogan used by the government during that period. Part of how the policy was promoted was through a propaganda culture created around an idealised one-child family: on playing cards, stickers, posters and in travelling opera performances. Nanfu Wang returns to her natal village to interview members of her own family and neighbours about how the policy affected them personally.

SOURCES: Official Trailer ; National Public Radio USA, 17 August 2019 ; Guardian, by Peter Bradshaw, 25 September 2019 ; Human Rights Watch



Malaysia – Address root causes of baby dumping

Address root causes of baby dumping

Published on: Sunday, November 03, 2019

IN Malaysia, where baby dumping occurs once every three days, the government seems set on addressing the crisis.

From 2010 to May 2019, 1,010 cases of baby dumping have been recorded. Out of those, 64pc of the babies were found dead, and the majority of the others died shortly after they were rescued.

Recently, a cleaner found a newborn girl in a plastic bag while she was sorting rubbish. The baby’s umbilical cord was still attached to her belly button, there was no heartbeat, she was cold.


UNFPA committed to women empowerment: Dr Natalia Kanem

UNFPA committed to women empowerment: Dr Natalia Kanem

Published: October 24, 2019

The ‘so-called’ Global Gag Rule, as well as the defunding of United Nations Population Fund by the current US government, impacted the health and well-being of women and girls in many parts of the world, the top United Nations official said.

According to United Nations Under Secretary General and Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund Dr Natalia Kanem, the GGR and the pushback have led to cutbacks in essential services.