Pratigya Campaign: overcoming access barriers to safe abortion in India
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Mar 30, 2020
This blog post was written before the COVID-19 outbreak.
Women’s ability to access safe and legal abortion is restricted in law or in practice in many countries around the world. As a result, tens of thousands of women die every year due to the complications arising from unsafe abortion. Access to safe abortion is not just a basic reproductive right, but also an integral part of a woman’s bodily autonomy and integrity.
In India, the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act 1971 (“MTP Act”) allows women to undergo an abortion up to 20 weeks, subject to certain conditions. The legislation is outdated as it has not kept up with the changing discourse on sexual and reproductive rights and advancements in medical technology. It is estimated that 15.6 million abortions take place annually in India, however, there are just 60-70,000 providers who can legally provide abortions under the MTP Act which inevitably leads to a considerable number of unsafe abortions.
MTP Act: More needs to be done to make the Amendments meaningful for women
The Parliament’s approval of the Medical Termination Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020, is an outcome of several years of multi stakeholder consultations and comes after multiple petitions in the Supreme Court and High Courts of India. The changes to the law come at a time when 10 women die every day as a result of unsafe abortion.
Mar 20, 2020
India legalized abortion in 1971 with the passage of the MTP Act, a law considered much ahead of its time. However, it is obsolete now given the societal changes and advancements in preconception diagnostics, fetal screening and abortion technologies. The current amendments address some of these – they now allow unmarried women to seek safe abortion services on grounds of contraceptive failure and re-emphasize maintaining confidentiality for all women undergoing termination of pregnancy, thereby making it easier for single women to access these services.
End stigma of abortion
published : 4 Mar 2020
Abortion has long been a highly stigmatised issue in Thailand given that it is considered "sinful" under Buddhist beliefs. Unsafe abortion at illegal clinics has remained an open secret for years.
However, calls for the legalisation of abortion have not been supported by lawmakers mostly due to religious concerns. Sadly, women and girls with unplanned and unwanted pregnancies have been deprived of their right to choose what they want to do with their bodies and their future.
Medical Termination Of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill 2020 To Raise Upper Limit For Abortions Introduced In Lok Sabha [Read Bill]
LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
March 3, 2020
Considering the need and demand for increased gestational limit and to ensure safety and well-being of women, the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020 was introduced in the Lok Sabha on Monday, March 2, 2020.
The Amendment Bill has been introduced in light of various petitions moved before the Supreme Court and various High Courts, seeking permission for aborting pregnancies at gestational age beyond the present permissible limit on the grounds of foetal abnormalities or pregnancies due to sexual violence faced by women.
The amendments in the MTP Act bill are flawed| Analysis
A woman’s right to reproductive freedom remains subordinated to the medical and legal regime
Feb 28, 2020
The Union Cabinet’s approval of the Amendments to the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act 1971, in January, sets the stage for a small though belated step forward. In a country where unsafe abortion is the third leading cause of maternal mortality, taking a toll of 13 lives each day, the law and the health system will need to do much more than the proposed MTP Amendments Bill, 2020.
It is a welcome amendment that the bill inter alia proposes to place an unmarried woman and her partner at par with a married woman and her husband, in securing abortion due to contraceptive failure. Jurisprudentially, this carries forward the rationale of the law against domestic violence which makes no distinction between the rights and protections available to a woman, whether in marriage or a live-in relationship. This recognition of women’s sexual agency will encourage access to safe abortion facilities as the stigma is erased.
Adolescents demand for separate curriculum on sexual and reproductive education
February 22, 2020
MUGU: A demand has been made for a separate sexual and reproductive health education curriculum.
The participants of a discussion session on ‘safe abortion’ organized by CDS-Park, Mugu here on Friday voiced for the same which, as they said, was urgently needed for broader sex education essential to pursue a decent and healthy life.
Thai court says anti-abortion laws unconstitutional
Feb 20, 2029
By Chayut Setboonsarng
BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand's Constitutional Court has ruled that existing laws criminalizing abortion are unconstitutional and ordered them to be amended, paving the way for clearer regulation for reproductive rights.
Pregnancies in Thailand can be terminated legally if a woman's physical or mental health are at risk, the fetus has a high risk of a genetic disease, or in cases of rape and girls under the age of 15.
Fetal Remains Found in Septic Tank at Illegal Abortion Clinic
BY :BAYU MARHAENJATI
FEBRUARY 18, 2020
The Jakarta Police raided an illegal abortion clinic in Central Jakarta and found fetal remains disposed in a septic tank, a police spokesman said on Tuesday.
Three suspects were arrested for running the illegal clinic at a rented home on Jalan Paseban Raya, Senen, with police saying they had been convicted of the same crime before.
Abortion bill 2020 is good, but not good enough
Feb 16, 2020
Sanchita Sharma, Hindustantimes
The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Amendment Bill, 2020, has got several things right. Raising the upper limit of legal abortions from 20 weeks to 24 weeks for “special categories of women”, including rape and incest survivors, other vulnerable women, and children; and completely removing the upper gestation limit for abortion in the cases of substantial foetal abnormalities will help many more seek safe and legal abortion services.
Other positive inclusions are allowing all women, and not just married ones, to legally seek abortions, and striking out the need for the opinion of a second registered practitioner for aborting pregnancies up to 20 weeks. The draft proposes that the opinion of two practitioners will now be needed only for abortions in the 20-24 weeks period.
FEATURE: INDIA Prime Minister’s Cabinet tables proposal for abortion law reform
14 February 2020
International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
On 29 January 2020, the Cabinet of Prime Minister Modi published the text of a bill to amend the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971. The bill is to be introduced in the ensuing session of the Union Parliament, where it will be debated. A summary of the current law, the amendments it proposes, and responses to the bill by leading NGOs working for abortion rights in India are reported below. Text in quotes is taken direct from the source.
The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act 1971
The 1971 Act says that a pregnancy may be terminated up to 20 weeks of pregnancy with the approval of one registered medical practitioner up to 12 weeks of pregnancy, or the approval of “no less than two registered medical practitioners” from 12 to 20 weeks of pregnancy. Approval must be given “in good faith” that: