India – HCs across states witness surge in abortion cases

Tue, Sep 22 2020

New Delhi, Sep 22 (IANS): High Courts across the nation are currently witnessing a substantial increase in abortion cases, revealed a legal report on Tuesday.

In 'Assessing the Judiciary's Role in Access to Safe Abortion- II' report by Pratigya campaign, cases seeking permission of termination of pregnancy from the High Courts in India from May 2019 to August were analysed.

There were total 243 cases filed across 14
high courts and one appeal before the Supreme Court. In 84 per cent of the
cases, permissions were given to terminate the pregnancy.

Continued: http://www.daijiworld.com/news/newsDisplay.aspx?newsID=753667


India – For a more progressive abortion law

V S Chandrashekar
Sep 19 2020

The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Amendment Bill 2020 is due to be discussed in an upcoming Rajya Sabha session. This is the second time, in its 49 years of existence, that the MTP Act will be amended. While introducing the Bill in the Lok Sabha, the Health Minister highlighted the government’s intent to improve access to safe, affordable and legal abortion services for women without compromising on safety, quality of care and more importantly to ensure dignity, autonomy, confidentiality and justice for women who need to terminate their pregnancies.

The Amendment Bill proposes some welcome changes-- it replaces the phrase “married woman and her husband” with “woman and her partner”; increases the upper gestation limit to 20-24 weeks for “certain categories of women”; reduces opinion required for termination of pregnancy between the 12th and 20th week of gestation from two providers to one and removes upper gestation limit for foetal abnormalities ‘necessitated by the diagnosis of a Medical Board.”

Continued: https://www.deccanherald.com/opinion/in-perspective/for-a-more-progressive-abortion-law-889672.html


Why Changes To India’s 50-Year-Old Abortion Law Fail Its Women

After decades of advocacy, it took the Lok Sabha only 15 days—without adequate consultation with those involved—to clear amendments to India’s abortion laws. Instead of making abortion easier for women who need it, such as rape survivors, the changes only make it more difficult.

Sept 6, 2020
SWETA DASH

New Delhi: In 2019, a 13-year-old rape survivor in Madhya Pradesh found out she was pregnant and in her 24th week. With the help of Nikita Sonawane, a lawyer associated with the Criminal Justice and Police Accountability Project (CPAProject), an advocacy, she approached the High Court in June 2019. The court allowed her to go ahead with the termination of pregnancy—but only six weeks later, by which time she already  reached her 30th week.

“The doctors had to induce delivery. She was in labour for 24 hours,” said Sonawane. Her lawyers pleaded for mental-health support but the biggest government hospital in Madhya Pradesh did not have a child psychologist. "Finally, a psychiatrist was arranged, said Sonavane. "It was an immensely harrowing experience for her.”

Continued: https://www.article-14.com/post/why-changes-to-india-s-50-year-old-abortion-law-fail-its-women


Why 243 Indian women had to ask a court for permission to abort

Each year, millions of women in India find themselves with an unintended or an unwanted pregnancy for various reasons

Akshi Chawla
September 5, 2020

In March 2020, Swati (name changed) decided to end her pregnancy after her partner refused to marry her and ended the relationship. By this time, she was 24 weeks pregnant and abortion, under India’s current laws, would have been a criminal offence. She moved the Madhya Pradesh High Court pleading that the pregnancy was affecting her mental health. If she gave birth, the child would “suffer the mental torture” throughout its life, she said.

The court refused to give permission. The state government had argued that there were no grounds for an abortion since the pregnancy was the outcome of a voluntary act and she was “very much aware of the consequence”. The court agreed with the government, adding that while there was always the possibility that the pregnant woman and her partner could resume their relationship, termination would be absolute.

Continued: https://www.business-standard.com/article/health/why-243-women-had-to-ask-a-court-for-permission-to-abort-says-report-120090500257_1.html


India – We Need To Talk About Unsafe Sex And Our Dilemmas Around Using Contraception

By Pragya Roy
September 2, 2020

As much as our country fears conversations around the word and the act of sex, especially outside the institution of marriage and/or for pleasure, the liberal and feminist circles which do widely dicusss sex, sexuality and the common anxieties around them, often tend to overlook one of the most prominent and anxiety-inducing notions—‘unsafe’ sex. In 2013, it was revealed that unsafe sex was the “second riskiest behaviour for boys and the greatest single risk to the health of girls,” in the worldwide risk table.

Although this particular study projected its findings solely on adolescents, unsafe and unprotected sex impacts other age groups too. Institutions of marriage, education and family, entwine with each other whereby factors like child marriage, lack of sex and sexuality education in schools and misogynistic structures engender diverse sexual and sexually violent episodes, especially for women and marginalised groups.

Continued: https://feminisminindia.com/2020/09/02/unsafe-sex-dilemmas-around-using-contraception/


Selective abortion in India may lead to 6.8 million fewer girls being born by 2030: Study

PTI, New Delhi
AUG 31 2020

An estimated 6.8 million fewer female births will be recorded across India by 2030 due to sex-selective abortions, according to a study that projects the highest deficits in the birth of girls will occur in Uttar Pradesh.

Researchers from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia, and Universite de Paris, France, noted that there has been a reported imbalance in India in the sex ratio at birth (SRB) since the 1970s due to the emergence of prenatal sex selection and the cultural preference for male babies.

Continued: https://www.deccanherald.com/science-and-environment/selective-abortion-in-india-may-lead-to-68-million-fewer-girls-being-born-by-2030-study-880460.html  


India – Women, uninterrupted

Access to contraception and abortion services must be continuous

AUGUST 24, 2020

Among the more serious ramifications of the pandemic has been the rather extensive, even if unintended, disruption of health-care services. Normal life has been crippled by the restrictions flowing from control measures, and access to medical services has become infinitely tougher for a vast majority. The scale of the impact on women’s lives is only now being recognised, as global reports of inability to access contraceptives and abortion services during the long lockdown warn of dire consequences, including unwanted pregnancies, increase in domestic violence, and maternal mortality.

Continued: https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/women-uninterrupted/article32424024.ece


Selective abortion in India could lead to 6.8m fewer girls being born by 2030

New study shows preference for a son is highest in north of country with Uttar Pradesh having highest deficit in female births

Amrit Dhillon in New Delhi
Fri 21 Aug 2020

An estimated 6.8 million fewer female births will be recorded across India by 2030 because of the persistent use of selective abortions, researchers estimate.

Academics from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia projected the sex ratio at birth in 29 Indian states and union territories, covering almost the entire population, taking into account each state’s desired sex ratio at birth and the population’s fertility rates.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/aug/21/selective-abortion-in-india-could-lead-to-68m-fewer-girls-being-born-by-2030


How India’s Healthcare System Treated Women During Pandemic

In one critical segment of healthcare—population services—India failed women almost completely.

Rashme Sehgal
21 Aug 2020

The fate of 30-year old Neelam, who died in the eight month of pregnancy because of lack of proper medical facilities sums up the fate of a large number of women during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite being in her final trimester and unwell, she failed to get admitted in even one of eight hospitals whose doors her family knocked at in NOIDA, Uttar Pradesh.

Her husband and brother took the unwell woman to eight hospitals in one day but were refused admission, allegedly on grounds that each of them was already overburdened with patients.

Continued: https://www.newsclick.in/How-India's-Healthcare-System-Treated-Women-During-Pandemic


India – Why your nearby chemist doesn’t have abortion pills, and why he should stock them

A new study throws light on the availability
of prescription-based medical abortion drugs with chemists as a way to prevent
early abortion care costs among other benefits for women exercising their
choice of terminating pregnancy

Written by Jayashree Narayanan
Published: August 19, 2020

Marking 49 years of the inception of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP)
Act in 1971, a new study out on August 10, 2020 evaluated the availability of
Medical Abortion (MA) drugs in six Indian states to understand the awareness
levels and perceptions of the chemists stocking and selling MA pills.

Despite the passage of the MTP (Amendment) Bill in March 2020 that extended the
upper limit for permitting abortion to 24 weeks from 20 weeks, the
non-availability of MA drugs, which are approved for use up to nine weeks of
pregnancy in India, is seen to be “threatening” to women’s access to safe
abortion and proper reproductive healthcare.

Continued: https://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/health/medical-abortion-pills-mtp-act-chemist-study-6552205/