What It's Like to Get an Abortion as an Unmarried Woman in India
In a country where stigma and shame drive many women towards unsafe abortions, this is an account of one woman who, unlike many, survived to tell the tale.
by Pallavi Pundir
23 July 2019
For far too long—and perhaps even now—conversations around abortions in India have been the stuff made up of whispers, stigma, and shame. While having pre-marital sex is, in itself, a big taboo, that of having a child born out of wedlock is even more so. Abortion in this scenario—in a space that is safe, non-judgemental and legit—is mostly unthinkable. This is a country where unsafe abortions are the third-leading cause of maternal deaths, and 80 percent of Indian women have no clue that abortion within 20 weeks is actually legal. And while studies have shown that unsafe abortions stem from lack of awareness, the societal norms around reproduction almost always dictate how and when women should be giving birth.