India: When knowledge can be fatal

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When knowledge can be fatal
Thursday, 18 January 2018 | Swapna Majumdar | in Oped

It is disheartening that the courts have failed women in strengthening access to comprehensive abortion care. The country needs a gender-responsive justice system

The judiciary plays a key role in interpreting laws. On a sensitive issue like abortion, where policy and legal ambiguities exist, clarity provided by the court can ensure a woman's right to bodily integrity and autonomy. This is especially so when laws, like the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, 1994 (PCPNDT Act) contradict provisions for safe abortions in the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act. Yet, a review of all judgements interpreting the MTP Act and other laws related to abortion till 2016 show that directives passed by three important Indian courts have perpetuated stereotypes of women seeking abortion.

Continued: http://www.dailypioneer.com/columnists/oped/when-knowledge-can-be-fatal.html

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Indian women need better access to safe abortion practices

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Indian women need better access to safe abortion practices

Written By Nidhi Jamwal
Wednesday 27 December 2017

Finally, we have comprehensive and credible data on abortions in India. A one-of-its-kind study on abortion and unintended pregnancy, recently published in The Lancet, has estimated that 15.6 million abortions occurred in India in 2015. This is more than double the previous (2004) estimate of 6.4 million annual abortions in the country, of which one-third were ‘informal’ or performed by medically unqualified people.

The recent study has put together robust data to show that 81 per cent abortions are medication abortions, ie, termination of pregnancy using medical abortion drugs. Only 2.2 million, or 14 per cent, abortions are performed surgically, whereas the remaining five per cent abortions are ‘probably unsafe’.

Continued at source: http://www.dnaindia.com/analysis/column-indian-women-need-better-access-to-safe-abortion-practices-2570774

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Safe abortions: Why India needs more trained providers

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Safe abortions: Why India needs more trained providers
Botched procedures kill 10 women every day; abortion deaths currently account for 8% of India’s 44,000 annual maternal fatalities.

Nov 25, 2017
Sanchita Sharma, Hindustan Times

One in four pregnancies worldwide ends in an abortion, which can be a very risky procedure if botched by an untrained provider. Yet, close to half of all abortions done worldwide are unsafe, killing 47,000 women and disabling another 5 million every year.

Of the 55.7 million abortions that occurred worldwide each year between 2010 and 2014, the most recent period for which data are available, only 30.6 million (54.9%) were safe, found a review of data from 182 countries. Of the 25.1 million unsafe abortions, 17.1 million were less safe and 8 million very unsafe, found a study published in The Lancet in September.

Continued at source: http://www.hindustantimes.com/columns/safe-abortions-why-india-needs-more-trained-providers/story-PVXmYCEeGZiFSDxAdiCwPP.html

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India: 56% Abortions Unsafe Despite Being Legal; Proposed Amendments On Hold

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56% Abortions Unsafe Despite Being Legal; Proposed Amendments On Hold
Shaifali Agrawal, November 22, 2017

Niketa Mehta was in the 24th week of her pregnancy when a test revealed substantial abnormalities in the foetus’ heart that posed a risk to its survival. Mehta decided to abort, but found herself restrained by the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, which prohibits abortion of a foetus older than 20 weeks, except when “immediately necessary to save the life of the pregnant woman”.

Mehta’s obstetrician sought judicial authorisation (Nikhil Datar v. Union of India) from the Bombay High Court, saying Mehta did not want to give birth to a severely disabled infant and witness its suffering. The court refused, saying the issue was of future health risks to the unborn child, and not to the mother.

Continued at source: http://www.indiaspend.com/cover-story/56-abortions-unsafe-despite-being-legal-proposed-amendments-on-hold-42620

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India: Attitudes to abortion putting women at risk of exploitation

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Attitudes to abortion putting women at risk of exploitation
Though abortions are legal in India, lack of transparency, social taboos and limited awareness are big hurdles for women with unwanted pregnancies

Soumya Gupta and Isha Trivedi
Nov 18, 2017

Mumbai: “Doctor? I never went to a doctor for an abortion,” says the 29-year-old, an advertising industry executive based in New Delhi, who discovered in 2009 that she was pregnant.

Her landlady had told her that pills are available in the market for inducing an abortion and she headed to Delhi’s government-run Safdarjung Hospital and asked for help at the pharmacy.

Continued at source: http://www.livemint.com/Science/Ug7l9ukXqIYZwgWcvhpTQJ/Attitudes-to-abortion-putting-women-at-risk-of-exploitation.html

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Abortion comes at a steep price in India

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Abortion comes at a steep price in India
Strict law on drugs coupled with social stigma associated with termination of pregnancies have left women seeking abortions vulnerable to exploitation

Soumya GuptaIsha Trivedi
Nov 10, 2017

Mumbai: “You can pay for the ultrasound by card, but the procedure will be Rs4,500 in cash. Please come after my clinic hours, I will give you the pills.” This is what a gynaecologist in South Mumbai told a young, unmarried media professional, who was six weeks pregnant.

This was the second gynaecologist that the woman, who wanted to get an abortion, was consulting after the first demanded Rs10,000 for the procedure.

Continued at source: http://www.livemint.com/Science/a5QMsT48DwglFGzgIzIQ6H/Abortion-comes-at-a-steep-price-in-India.html

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Government doctors are being trained to help women in India get safe and legal abortions

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Government doctors are being trained to help women in India get safe and legal abortions
The Comprehensive Abortion Care programme is training doctors in abortion laws, medical and surgical abortion procedures, and how to counsel women.

Nov 8, 2017
Jyotsna Singh

On a busy Monday morning in June, Dr Gopal Krishna was suddenly summoned to the emergency ward of Vani Vilas Women and Children Hospital in Bengaluru where he works. He had been called to attend to Beena Kumari (name changed), a 23-year-old woman who had been admitted with profuse vaginal bleeding.

Kumari had earlier taken medicines to induce an abortion – pills of misoprostol and mifepristone that are sold at pharmacies as Medical Termination of Pregnancy kits to terminate early pregnancies. Misoprostol and mifepristone fall under Schedule H of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, which means that they can only be sold against a prescription from a registered medical practitioner. But Kumari took the pills on the direction of the pharmacist.

Continued at source: https://scroll.in/pulse/857044/government-doctors-are-being-trained-to-help-women-in-india-get-safe-and-legal-abortions

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India: In a first, HC OKs abortion of 25-week fetus

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In a first, HC OKs abortion of 25-week fetus
Swati Deshpande | TNN | Nov 7, 2017

MUMBAI: Less than a month after the Supreme Court said women could directly approach the high courts for termination beyond 20 weeks of pregnancies with foetal abnormalities, the Bombay high court on Monday for the first time granted permission to a 28-year-old who is over 25 weeks pregnant.

Mumbai's Priti Rawal moved court last Friday when she was over 22 weeks pregnant, saying her fetus had multiple neurological and skeletal abnormalities, which reduced its survival chances at birth.

Continued at source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/in-a-first-hc-oks-abortion-of-25-week-fetus/articleshow/61538357.cms

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India: Supreme Court upholds woman’s right to abort

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Supreme Court upholds woman's right to abort
Dhananjay Mahapatra | TNN
Updated: Oct 28, 2017

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has dismissed a man's petition seeking damages from his estranged wife for undergoing abortion without his consent, and ruled that an adult woman had an unimpeachable right to give birth or terminate pregnancy.

Terming the abortion, to which he had objected, "illegal", the husband had also demanded compensation from the woman's parents and brother, and two doctors. The Punjab and Haryana high court had dismissed the husband's plea saying termination of pregnancy was the sole prerogative of the woman .

Continued at source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/supreme-court-upholds-womans-right-to-abort/articleshow/61281331.cms

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Women’s bodies are under attack: The alarming reality of reproductive rights in India and the US

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Women’s bodies are under attack: The alarming reality of reproductive rights in India and the US

Written by Sophie Cousins
September 12, 2017 Quartz india

Outside, the mid-morning heat is stifling. It’s not humid like the bustling metropolises of Mumbai or Kolkata; here in New Delhi, it’s a dry heat, the type of heat that exhausts you, made worse by a thick layer of dust which sticks to your face and stings your eyes.

At the maternity ward inside the hospital at Jamia Hamdard University, all the metal gurneys are taken, some with sheets, some without.

Continued: https://qz.com/1073136/abortion-contraception-pregnancy-how-womens-bodies-became-a-battlezon/

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