Abortion In India: A Right, A Choice Or Both?

Abortion In India: A Right, A Choice Or Both?

Posted by Stuti Srivastava
August 31, 2018

Many a time, I’ve uninhibitedly, at times vociferously, voiced my opinion in the pro-life versus pro-choice debate. When statistics, opinions, arguments fail, I go back to a classic tweet by noted science fiction writer, Patrick S. Tomlinson, which asks you to choose between saving a 5-year-old child and a 1,000 viable embryos in a fire. As expected, he never got a clear response to this question. While such discussions would be held at a very rudimentary level, whenever I’d think of several other factors, such as the woman’s age, family situation, financial means, and most importantly, her choice, I’d always rest comfortably on the pro-choice side of the debate without a second thought. Until one fine day, I googled some India stats and the bubble burst. The right to abortion in India (there is one, yes) does not remotely consider the idea of choice.

Continued: https://www.youthkiawaaz.com/2018/08/abortion-in-india-a-right-a-choice-or-both/

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India – ‘Reduce Stigma To Make Women Comfortable Accessing Safe Abortions’

‘Reduce Stigma To Make Women Comfortable Accessing Safe Abortions’

Swagata Yadavar
August 7, 2018

New Delhi: Abortion was legalised in India almost half a century ago, yet unsafe abortions – performed in unhygienic conditions by untrained providers – are the third largest cause of maternal death. Nearly 78% of the more than 15 million abortions conducted annually in India are outside of health facilities, giving rise to safety concerns. There is only one licensed provider for 224,000 women in rural areas.

India allows medical termination of a pregnancy of up to 20 weeks’ gestation to be conducted by a registered medical practitioner. There have been attempts to amend the act to expand the provider base to include nurses and non-allopathic medicine practitioners, and extend the deadline to 24 weeks from the current 20.

Continued: http://www.indiaspend.com/indiaspend-interviews/reduce-stigma-to-make-women-comfortable-accessing-safe-abortions-88950

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India – SC says abortion amounts to murder, rejects 20-year-old Mumbai woman’s plea

SC says abortion amounts to murder, rejects 20-year-old Mumbai woman’s plea

Ritika Jain
16 July, 2018

The petitioner, now over 25 weeks pregnant, had cited marital discord and a desire to end her marriage as grounds to seek an abortion.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Monday denied a 20-year-old woman permission to terminate her over-25-week pregnancy, suggesting that aborting a foetus amounted to murder.

Under Indian law, pregnancies older than 20 weeks can only be terminated if they pose a danger to the mother’s life, or are likely to culminate in serious physical or mental abnormalities in the child.

Continued: https://theprint.in/governance/sc-says-abortion-amounts-to-murder-rejects-20-year-old-mumbai-womans-plea/83524/

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India – Allow non-allopathists to perform abortions

Allow non-allopathists to perform abortions

Saturday, 02 June 2018
Vinoj Manning | in Oped

Despite abortion being legal in India for almost five decades, every day 10 women die and thousands more face serious and permanent injuries due to unsafe abortions. This is unacceptable. Unsafe abortion is the third largest cause of maternal mortality and accounts for eight per cent of all maternal deaths in India. A recent study conducted jointly by International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS), Population Council, New Delhi, and Guttmacher Institute, New York, estimates that only 22 per cent of the 1.5 crore abortions that occur in India every year take place at a private or public-sector facility and are performed by trained personnel.

The shortage of trained providers and concomitant lack of facilities offering safe abortion services are two of the key contributory causes of unsafe abortions. Unfortunately, the one policy action that could address this acute public health crisis is yet to be taken.

Continued: http://www.dailypioneer.com/columnists/oped/allow-non-allopathists--to-perform-abortions.html

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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.

Continued: https://theprint.in/opinion/abortion-has-been-legal-in-india-since-1971-but-it-is-still-not-a-womans-right/51634/

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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: http://www.hindustantimes.com/opinion/abortion-it-s-every-woman-s-right-to-choose/story-52qv723N3yXESybsvyHR0J.html

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India: Rape Survivors’ Right to Abortion: Are Doctors Listening?

Rape Survivors’ Right to Abortion: Are Doctors Listening?
By Padma D. and Sangeeta R.
Sep 8, 2017

Recent amendments to the rape laws have made it mandatory for all hospitals to provide immediate treatment to survivors of rape. An abortion is an essential element of such care.

What is the ethical and legal responsibility of doctors when it comes to abortion for pregnant rape survivors? Credit: Reuters

The news of rape survivors, especially children, being denied abortion has been in the public eye for some time. First it was a ten-year-old rape survivor, 28 weeks pregnant, and the second was a 13-year-old child, 26 weeks pregnant, both reaching medical institutions/doctors but being turned away by the medical system owing to the advanced stages of pregnancy. Both appealed to the Supreme Court to seek permission for abortion. The court did not allow an abortion for the ten-year-old child, compelling her to proceed with the pregnancy, while the 13-year-old child has been allowed to terminate the pregnancy.
Continued at source: https://thewire.in/175257/rape-survivors-right-to-abortion/

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“Not a woman’s choice”: India’s abortion limit puts women at risk, say campaigners

"Not a woman's choice": India's abortion limit puts women at risk, say campaigners

Roli Srivastava
September 5, 2017

MUMBAI, Sept 6 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - They didn’t pop open boxes of sweets or send out excited phone messages when their first child was born at public hospital on a rainy Mumbai night in July.

The couple had known from the 24th week of the pregnancy that their child would be born with Arnold Chiari Type II syndrome - a structural defect in the brain.

Since abortions in India are allowed only up to 20 weeks of pregnancy, the couple petitioned India’s Supreme Court to allow them a to terminate the pregnancy, which was by then 27 weeks. The court rejected their plea.

Continued at source: Reuters: https://www.reuters.com/article/india-women-abortion/not-a-womans-choice-indias-abortion-limit-puts-women-at-risk-say-campaigners-idUSL8N1LE26E

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India: The MTP Act 2014 makes safe abortion easier, it should be passed

The MTP Act 2014 makes safe abortion easier, it should be passed

Given the fact that the basket of contraceptives that should be available to couples are not always accessible, abortion is one way a woman has control over her body and can deal with an unwanted pregnancy

Jul 22, 2017
Lalita Panicker
Hindustan Times

The figures are chilling – 10 women die every day from unsafe abortions making this the third leading cause of maternal mortality in India. Clearly, these are the result of back alley procedures owing to the fact, in part, that at least 80% of women don’t know that abortion is legal in India. And unfortunately, many doctors still tend to associate abortions with gender-based sex selection under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PC&PNDT) Act, 1994, which is illegal. The very word abortion raises the hackles of the conservatives whether in Trump’s America or right here. It is somehow seen as encouraging promiscuity and in the Indian context sex selection.

Continued at source: Hindustan Times: http://www.hindustantimes.com/columns/the-mtp-act-2014-makes-safe-abortion-easier-it-should-be-passed/story-AbdzBcTLagR3I388Uh6tAL.html

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India: Woman’s plea for abortion: SC forms 7-doctor medical board

Woman's plea for abortion: SC forms 7-doctor medical board

Press Trust of India, New Delhi
Jun 23 2017

The Supreme Court today constituted a medical board of seven doctors of the SSKM Hospital in Kolkata to ascertain health of a 24-week pregnant woman wanting to undergo abortion on the grounds of foetus abnormality.

A vacation bench of justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul directed the medical board to submit the report by June 29 after ascertaining the health of the mother and the foetus. During the hearing, the counsel for the West Bengal government said it has been decided to constitute a team of seven doctors to ascertain the medical condition.

Continued at source: Deccan Herald: http://www.deccanherald.com/content/618820/womans-plea-abortion-sc-forms.html

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