How India’s abortion laws are trailing society, technology and the young single women having more sex

How India’s abortion laws are trailing society, technology and the young single women having more sex
Faced with a 20-week limit and cultural and other legal restrictions, millions of Indian women have abortions outside hospitals and clinics, while many others do not even know the procedure is legal because of a lack of public education

Monday, 21 May, 2018
Amrit Dhillon

Using euphemisms, Anita Adhikari, 43, says shyly that her husband wants sexual intercourse almost every day. How they manage to perform the act is a mystery. The chip board partition which separates her room in a slum in Gurgaon, a satellite city of the capital New Delhi, from the family next door is so flimsy you can hear her neighbours talking. With two grown-up married children, Anita is far less interested in sex than her husband, but she has no choice in the matter. Like most Indian women, she has to obey his every whim.

Anaemic and underweight, Adhkari used to miss her periods occasionally. When there was no sign of her period after three months, she assumed her menopause had started. But, feeling anxious one day in February, she went to a doctor who said she was pregnant. She went to a nearby chemist and bought an anti-abortion pill. By now, she was in her 18th week. The pill did not work. The only option was an abortion.


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Abortion has been legal in India since 1971 but it is still not a woman’s right

Abortion has been legal in India since 1971 but it is still not a woman’s right
Nozer Sheriar
22 April, 2018

Legal barriers, such as the blanket 20-week gestation limit, no mention of unmarried women in the clause of contraceptive failure, the need for physician’s consent – all constrain and deny women reproductive justice.

According to a Worldometers projection, the world has witnessed 36.4 million childbirths since the beginning of this year, and 10.8 million induced abortions. The birth of a child usually gets attention, support and celebration. Abortions usually get judgment, stigma and punishment.


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India: Abortion: It’s every woman’s right to choose

Abortion: It’s every woman’s right to choose
According to the latest estimates published in the December issue of The Lancet, in 2015, a staggering 15.6 million abortions occurred in India. Of these 15.6 million abortions, 73% were sought outside health facilities. While unsafe abortions in the country have reduced significantly, about eight lakh women still resort to unsafe means to end an unwanted pregnancy.

Jan 06, 2018
Soli Sorabjee

Last year, in what is considered a landmark judgment, the Supreme Court ruled that individual privacy is a “guaranteed fundamental right”. The nine-judge bench ruled that the right to privacy is comprised in the right to life and liberty guaranteed in Article 21 of the Constitution. This judgment will have significant implications for the protection of citizens’ personal freedom against intrusions by the State. While the furore about privacy and its breach began with the linking of Aadhaar numbers with various programmes, the judgment addressed several other issues that the bench believed came under the ambit of privacy. Recognising a woman’s prerogative to make decisions about her health and body, the bench ruled that “there is no doubt that a woman’s right to make reproductive choices is also a dimension of ‘personal liberty’ as guaranteed under Article 21.

continued at source:

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India: SC allows 26-week pregnant lady to abort her fetus suffering from congenital problem

SC allows 26-week pregnant lady to abort her fetus suffering from congenital problem

Amit Anand Choudhary | TNN |
Jul 3, 2017

NEW DELHI: As the proposed amendment in abortion law is getting delayed to allow abortion beyond 20-weeks, the Supreme Court on Monday came to the rescue of yet another pregnant woman and permitted her to abort her 26-week fetus suffering from severe cardiac problem.

A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and A M Khanwilkar allowed the abortion plea of Kolkata-based 33-year old lady on the basis of her medical report which said that the child, even if born alive, may not survive for a long time as the baby would have to go through multiple surgery due to congenital disorder.

Continued at source: Times of India:

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India: A question of human rights

Updated: August 11, 2016 04:50 IST
The Hindu

In the debate on abortion, let us not lose sight of the basic right of women: the right to autonomy and to decide what to do with their own bodies.

We are a group of persons from across the country working with women over several decades around issues of their rights and health. In response to the article, “A tricky debate on abortion” (Aug. 3, 2016), we would like to contest from the perspective of women’s rights the arguments made by the author.

Worldwide, it is estimated that 46 million women seek abortion every year and the World Health Organisation estimates that close to half of these happen in unsafe conditions. In India, around 20 million women seek to terminate an unwanted pregnancy every year. Even today, due to the stigma around women’s sexuality and abortion itself, a woman dies every two hours of an unsafe abortion. What makes this statistic even more tragic is that in our country, as the article points out, we have had a law permitting abortion access under certain conditions since 1971; however, this has not ensured widespread access to safe abortion services.

Source: The Hindu

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