Criminalisation of even consensual sex between adolescents obstructs access to safe abortion for girls
October 19, 2019
Unsafe abortion is the third leading cause of maternal mortality in India, leading to about 10 deaths every day. ‘The incidence of abortion and unintended pregnancy in India, 2015’ study records that of the 15.6 million abortions in 2015, only 22% were conducted in health facilities, whereas an overwhelming 78% abortions were done outside health facilities. Adolescent girls, in the age group of 16-18 years, are left at the mercy of life-threatening pregnancy termination methods. A 2010 facility-based study discloses that 20-30% of abortion seekers were unmarried young women and adolescent girls; and 16.7% of them were victims of sexual abuse.
Significantly, this life endangering vulnerability is abetted by the law. Section 19(1) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act stipulates mandatory reporting of all sexual offences against a child to the law enforcement authorities, and failure to report the same entails punitive consequences.
India: 15-year-old dies allegedly due to botched abortion
The police have arrested one person; a probe is under way
Published: October 14, 2019
New Delhi: Delhi Police have arrested one person after a 15-year-old girl died on Friday night allegedly due to a botched try at abortion.
According to the police, the girl was brought to Deen Dayal Upadhyay hospital on Friday late evening in a serious condition; she died a bit later.
Abortion Remains an Unresolved Issue: ICPD25 Meeting next Month
By Osamu Kusumoto
Osamu Kusumoto is Secretary General and Executive Director of Asian Population and Development Association (APDA)
TOKYO, Japan, Oct 9 2019 (IPS) - Currently, the topic of abortion as human rights leaves the world bustling. When the state of Alabama1 in the United States enacted a very strict ban on abortion, it shocked the world. This prompted so-called conservative movements, led by female business owners, to make a full-scale advertisement in the New York Times claiming abortion is a human right2 ; hence the global debate between pro-life and pro-choice.
This discussion is a remnant of the debate at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in 1994. Twenty Five years into the ICPD and the struggle between opposing views persists, causing the continued disruption in the accessibility of women to reproductive health. This is especially true in developing countries.
Indian Women Seeking Abortions Are Petitioning the Courts, Even When They Don’t Need To
By Anubha Rastogi
Oct 4, 2019
In the past three years, there has been an increasing and worrying trend of pregnant women approaching courts of law, either directly or indirectly, seeking permission for terminating the pregnancy that they are carrying.
Initially, these were all cases that were above the 20-week limit that the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act sets out. However, a recent study by the Pratigya Campaign shows that even cases of gestational age at 8 weeks and 12 weeks have gone to court seeking permission.
INDONESIA – Proposed new criminal code related to sexual relations and much more leads to protest demonstrations
Oct 4, 2019
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
There is bad news from Indonesia. The government has apparently finalised a new criminal code with over 600 clauses that has been in the drafting stage for decades. Clauses related to sexual relations, adultery, sex work, abortion, contraception, blasphemy, and much more are very restrictive and criminalise many new behaviours and people. Abortion would be illegal unless it is a medical emergency or due to rape and would carry a four-year prison sentence. Sex before marriage would be criminalised and could result in a one-year prison term. Living together outside marriage could lead to a six-month prison sentence. Extra-marital sex would be punishable by up to one year in prison. The bill also stipulates new laws on discussions of sex education and contraception. Insulting the president, vice president, religion, state institutions and symbols such as the flag and national anthem would be illegal. The definition of blasphemy is also altered. The bill recognises any “living law”, potentially including hundreds of local sharia or customary laws that discriminate against women, LGBT people and religious minorities. And there is more such as concerns about press freedom, serious problems in West Papua, and the environment.
Safe abortion: every woman’s right and her decision alone
Updated: Sep 28, 2019
Sanchita Sharma, Hindustantimes
There’s been a spurt in women approaching the Supreme and High Courts seeking permission to end their pregnancies, but the judgments have been conflicting, according to a new analysis of court judgments by the not-for-profit Pratigya Campaign for Gender Equality and Safe Abortion.
Over the last three years, 194 women have gone to courts seeking abortions in traumatic circumstances including rape, risk to life and mental health, or foetal abnormalities, but the judgments have been unpredictable, found the report, released on Saturday.
Women’s empowerment is incomplete without access to safe abortion, but this just got worse
September 28, 2019
Women’s reproductive rights in general, and abortion in particular, have been the subject of intense debate globally. Even in countries where the law permits abortions women battle stigma, bias, lack of awareness and information, all of which result in restriction of access to safe abortion.
Almost 48 years after abortion was legalised in India, a majority of women continue to lack access to safe abortion care. Unsafe abortion is the third leading cause of maternal mortality in India. Every day 10 women die in India due to unsafe abortion-related causes and many more suffer from morbidities such as pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility, which are related to unsafe abortion practices – ranging from home remedies to inserting sharp foreign objects into the cervix.
Abortion a right not privilege. On Safe Abortion Day, govt must consider amending MTP Act
In 1971, India became one of the first countries to legalise abortion, but today its healthcare system is lagging behind and doing a great disservice to women.
Updated: 28 September, 2019
Forty-eight years ago, in 1971, when conversations about women’s reproductive health and rights were still in nascent stages across the world, India became one of the first countries to ensure that women have access to a crucial reproductive health need — that of having a safe, legal abortion.
Today, however, India’s laws and systems have lagged behind and we are doing a great disservice to the women in our country by limiting their control over their wombs because of challenges discussed here.
Thailand’s abortions are modern and safe. They’re also out of reach for most women (Video)
By Teirra Kamolvattanavith
Sep 26, 2019
The man on stage pulled a thin plastic tube out of a dragon fruit before a captivated audience. A little “blood” seeped out; the audience gasped. The man was a gynecologist, the dragon fruit was standing in for a uterus, and with the tube he was demonstrating vacuum-aspiration abortion.
“Abortion has been performed for thousands of year, but in the last century, we have new technology that’s made the process completely safe, like this equipment right here,” said Sunya Patrachai, an OB/GYN professor at the renowned Mahidol University, as he waved the tiny suction tube in the air. “Yet, only 30 percent of all doctors performing abortions in Thailand use this method.”.
South Korean Clinic Performed Abortion on Wrong Woman, Police Say
By Choe Sang-Hun
Published Sept. 24, 2019
SEOUL, South Korea — An expectant mother who visited a medical clinic in Seoul, South Korea, last month to receive a nutritional shot woke up hours later to learn she had mistakenly been given an abortion, the police said on Wednesday.
The police said they planned to ask prosecutors to indict the clinic’s doctor and a nurse on charges of inflicting accidental injury. The staff, the police said, administered anesthesia and performed an abortion on the woman, a Vietnamese citizen, who was six weeks pregnant.