India – Safe And Legal Abortion: Conceive Choice, Terminate Myths

Safe And Legal Abortion: Conceive Choice, Terminate Myths
The YP Foundation in Health and Life, Sexual Health, Staff Picks

Sept 10, 2019
By Souvik Pyne

Abortion is a word that holds the massive weight of social pressure. Many people also believe that abortion in India is illegal. However, under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 (MTP), abortion services can be availed. But despite their being a law in place, it hasn’t been easy for abortion-seekers to access safe and legal abortion services due to the taboo around it.

Safe abortion to terminate an unwanted pregnancy is an important reproductive health need for individuals seeking it of all ages, educational levels, racial and ethnic groups, social and economic classes and religions. The need to make safe abortion services available has also been upheld in many international platforms and intergovernmental agreements on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).


India – Aborting stigma

Aborting stigma
City-based artist Indu Harikumar talks about illustrating for a social media project that aims to normalise conversations surrounding abortion.

Published : Aug 31, 2019

A girl sits crouched in a turbulent ocean. A huge wave, reminiscent of Katsushika Hokusai’s The Great Wave Off Kanagawa, looms behind her, threatening to crush and drown her. But the girl cannot scream for help, because her lips have been zipped shut. A closer look at the picture reveals the cause for this enforced silence – an ultrasound image peeking out from under the current. The illustration is accompanied by a woman’s haunting words that reveal her abortion ordeal and is part of a crowd-sourced project titled #MyAbortionStory. The project, started by My Body, My Choice India — a social media campaign working towards ending the stigma surrounding abortion —invites people to share their abortion experiences and kick-start a conversation around the medical procedure.


India – Just 1.2% chemists stock abortion pills in Maharashtra: study

Just 1.2% chemists stock abortion pills in Maharashtra: study

Jyoti Shelar MUMBAI
AUGUST 31, 2019

Pharmacists cite legal hassles as reason; experts say lack of access to safe abortions a worry
A mere 1.2% chemists in Maharashtra — three of the 252 reviewed in five cities — stock medical abortion (MA) pills, a study has found.

The study covered 1,008 chemists in Maharashtra, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan.


The Worrying Disappearance of Medical Abortion Drugs in India

The Worrying Disappearance of Medical Abortion Drugs in India

Aug 29, 2019

India legalized abortions in 1971 with the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act — becoming one of the first few countries to give women the option to abort even in situations that are not life-threatening.

Undoubtedly, the law is among the more progressive abortion laws that exist in the world. Advances in medicine and technology have opened doors to safer and more convenient options, such as medical abortion drugs (mifepristone and misoprostol) that can be used within ten weeks of pregnancy.


India – 5,80,100 abortions performed in Assam every year: Report

5,80,100 abortions performed in Assam every year: Report
An estimated 90% of the abortions occurring in health facilities in the State are surgical, while about 10% are done using Medical Methods of Abortion.

By Bikash Singh
Aug 20, 2019

GUWAHATI: The study on ‘Unintended Pregnancy, Abortion and Postabortion Care in Assam—2015’ conducted jointly by Indian Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai, Population Council, New Delhi and New York-based Guttmacher Institute, highlights the importance of access to and quality of safe abortion services in the State.

The study found that an estimated 5,80,100 abortions are performed in Assam every year. These include abortions taking place both in health facilities and in other settings. The State’s abortion rate was found to be 66 terminations per 1,000 women in the reproductive age group.


India – A change in the abortion law?

A change in the abortion law?

August 8, 2019
By Kerean Watts

Could India’s abortion law soon change? Steps may be taken towards amending the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, as the Centre has informed the Delhi High Court it is consulting with ministries on the same.

Social activist Amit Sahni filed a public interest litigation (PIL) before the High Court earlier this year, seeking that the gestation period in which abortion is permitted be extended to between 24 and 26 weeks. Currently, Indian law permits abortion only in the first twenty weeks of pregnancy in cases where “the pregnancy would involve a risk to the life of the pregnant woman or of grave injury physical or mental health; or there is a substantial risk that if the child were born, it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped.” This would require the assent of one medical practitioner in the first twelve weeks and two medical practitioners thereafter.


Opinion: India’s government must prioritize women’s needs — including SRHR

Opinion: India's government must prioritize women's needs — including SRHR

By Vinoj Manning
24 July 2019

The 2019 general elections in India saw a record turnout of women — equal to the percentage of male voters — and indicating that women expect the majority government of the day to prioritize and address their needs.

One of their primary expectations is improved access to women’s sexual reproductive health and rights services.


What It’s Like to Get an Abortion as an Unmarried Woman in India

What It's Like to Get an Abortion as an Unmarried Woman in India
In a country where stigma and shame drive many women towards unsafe abortions, this is an account of one woman who, unlike many, survived to tell the tale.

by Pallavi Pundir
23 July 2019

For far too long—and perhaps even now—conversations around abortions in India have been the stuff made up of whispers, stigma, and shame. While having pre-marital sex is, in itself, a big taboo, that of having a child born out of wedlock is even more so. Abortion in this scenario—in a space that is safe, non-judgemental and legit—is mostly unthinkable. This is a country where unsafe abortions are the third-leading cause of maternal deaths, and 80 percent of Indian women have no clue that abortion within 20 weeks is actually legal. And while studies have shown that unsafe abortions stem from lack of awareness, the societal norms around reproduction almost always dictate how and when women should be giving birth.


Gender-selective abortion? No girls born in 3 months across 132 Indian villages

Gender-selective abortion? No girls born in 3 months across 132 Indian villages

Published time: 23 Jul, 2019

A probe into sex-selective abortions has been kicked off in northern India, after government data revealed that of the 216 children born across 132 villages in the past three months, not a single one was female.

Local authorities in Uttarakhand state fear that villagers around the town of Uttarkashi are selectively aborting babies in an attempt to avoid having girls. Though female feticide has been explicitly banned in India since 1994, the practice still continues in rural areas, where girls are often considered a financial liability for families.


India – Court relaxes rules for woman to abort foetus suffering from congenital anomaly

Court relaxes rules for woman to abort foetus suffering from congenital anomaly

Staff Reporter
new delhi, July 15, 2019

The Delhi High Court has relaxed the law governing termination of pregnancy to allow a 27-year-old woman to abort her 25-week foetus diagnosed with a congenital anomaly which made it “impossible for the child” to remain alive after birth.

A Bench of Chief Justice and Justice C. Hari Shankar took the assistance of medical experts from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to determine the condition of the foetus suffering from Bilateral Muticystic Kidney disease with Oligohydramnios and Pulmonary Hypoplasia.