Comprehensive Abortion Care a Far Cry
As per the national statistics, only 22 percent abortions are carried out in health facilities while 73 percent are medication-based.
Published: 22nd December 2019
By KG Suresh
At a quiz conducted recently for state-level health communicators in Bihar, it was found that some were not aware that abortions were legal in India while some others thought a woman required the consent of her husband or father for aborting her foetus. In fact, some of them were not even aware of the difference between emergency contraception and abortion drugs. This was significant given the fact that Bihar with 1.25 million abortions annually accounted for a sizeable chunk of the 15.6 million abortions annually estimated in the country by Lancet, an international health journal. Neighbouring Uttar Pradesh reported 3.15 million abortions.
As per the national statistics, only 22 per cent abortions are carried out in health facilities while 73 per cent are medication-based. The national average of unsafe abortions stood at 5 per cent, meaning thereby that about 10 women lose their lives daily because of unsafe abortions.
Woman's Right to Abort Pregnancy Not an Absolute Right, Centre Tells Supreme Court
The government said unsafe abortions contribute to 8 per cent of maternal mortality in India and continue to be the third largest cause of maternal mortality.
Updated:December 16, 2019
New Delhi: The central government has submitted in the Supreme Court that a woman's right to abort is not an absolute right.
Seeking dismissal of a PIL that sought complete autonomy for a woman to determine whether or not to continue with her pregnancy, the ministry of health and family welfare referred to the statement of object and reasons of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, 1971.
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.
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
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
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
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.
How India's Most Important Law for Children's Safety is Leading to Unsafe Abortions Among Teenagers
The conflict of the POCSO and the MTP Act is making doctors hesitant to provide services to girls under-18 due to fear of prosecution, and teenaged girls apprehensive of seeking abortion services from legal providers, in turn, forcing them to seek unsafe abortion measures.
October 23, 2019
Delhi: A few days after discovering she is pregnant, Rekha*, along with her mother, went to Dr Samir R Pradhan, a gynaecologist in Mumbai. She wanted an abortion. The doctor tried to determine her age through her Aadhaar card but it mentioned only her year of birth.
Her school documents revealed that she's a couple of months short of 18 - anything less than that age means there can be no consent involved in sex. Or, that's what the law says. "An act of sex with a woman below 18 years is considered to be rape and we are bound by the law to inform the authorities," Dr Pradhan says.
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.
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.