Nepal – Contraceptives shortage looms

Government cites lack of funds. Fears of unsafe abortions, increase in maternal deaths.

Arjun Poudel
September 25, 2023

Health facilities nationwide could soon run out of contraceptives such as condoms, pills, implants and emergency pills as the Ministry of Health and Population lacks funds to procure them.

Officials blamed the reduction in the health budget as the main reason for their inability to purchase essential contraceptives to be distributed from health care facilities. A possible shortage of the items will eventually cause multiple problems including a rise in unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions and maternal deaths.


India – 13-year-old dies after induced abortion in Delhi

Sept 24, 2023

NEW DELHI: Delhi Police has registered a case of rape and death due to miscarriage on the basis of the postmortem report of a 13-year old girl who died in August in Narela Industrial Area. Cops are searching for her parents, who are absconding. They are probing whether they had given her any abortion pills.


Vietnam – Abortion clinic extorts $1,100 from patient

By Le Phuong  
September 22, 2023

A Ho Chi Minh City woman says that after offering her a VND2-million abortion, a clinic got her on the operating table before demanding she pay VND29 million ($1,189) instead.

The 37-year-old woman had the abortion at the Y Hoc Sai Gon clinic, but she was only able to transfer VND9 million while she was on the operating table. Staff then held her at the clinic against her will, demanding that she pay the rest of the money before the procedure could continue.

The woman’s family called the municipal Department of Health on September 19 to report the matter and request an intervention.


India – ‘Parents should not pressurise girl for abortion’: Gujarat HC allows minor to end pregnancy

The observation was in the context of that the man the girl was in a relationship with which led to the pregnancy, opposed the termination of the pregnancy.

By: Express News Service

Ahmedabad | September 9, 2023

The Gujarat High Court on Friday permitted a 17-year old girl to terminate her 19-week pregnancy even as the court, after perusing investigation records in the case, orally remarked that her parents should not pressure her to go for an abortion.

The court of Justice Samir Dave, in the order, also quoted a verse from ‘Skanda Purana’ to emphasise on the value mothers hold in the society. The verse from Skanda Purana, Chapter 6 103-104 notes that “there is no shade, shelter and protection like that of a mother, no life giver in this world like the mother.”


India – Raped by father,  12-year-old moves Gujarat HC for abortion

Sep 5, 2023

AHMEDABAD: Two days after registering a criminal complaint against a man for allegedly impregnating his 12-year-old daughter, the mother and minor victim on Monday moved the Gujarat high court for permission to abort her nearly 28-week pregnancy.

The high court ordered the medical superintendent of the department of obstetrics at Sir Sayajirao Gaikwad General Hospital in Vadodara to have the girl examined by a panel of doctor on Tuesday, in accordance with the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act. A report is to be submitted to the court on Wednesday.  


Reassessing India’s Abortion Laws: A Call for Change

Kanav Narayan Sahgal

Nearly two decades ago, the Supreme Court delivered a landmark judgment in Suchita Srivastava & Anr vs Chandigarh Administration. The judgment stayed the orders of the High Court of Punjab and Haryana, which had ruled that a ‘mentally retarded woman‘ who was raped while residing in a government-run welfare institution in Chandigarh should undergo a medical termination of pregnancy (MTP). The woman in question was an orphan who had been abandoned by her parents at an early age and was under the guardianship of the Missionaries of Charity, New Delhi.

Despite her willingness to bear a child, the High Court ruled in favour of the proposed abortion. However, the Supreme Court held that her pregnancy could not be terminated without her consent, as doing so would not serve her best interest. The Court emphasized that a woman’s right to make reproductive choices is an essential aspect of ‘personal liberty‘ under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. This right allows women to choose whether to procreate or refrain from procreating, with the key consideration being respect for their privacy, dignity, and bodily integrity. Any restrictions on reproductive choices should only be in line with the provisions of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, 1971.


Making Legal Abortion Accessible in India

Rural healthcare workers in India are fighting to overcome stigma and systemic shortcomings to help patients.

AUG 28, 2023

When Kiran Kumbhar (name changed for safety reasons) was pregnant with her first child, she experienced severe complications that almost took her life. And the debilitating symptoms have continued in the years since: weakness and dizziness, weight gain, and delays of as long as six months between periods. For years she tried to ignore the health ailments, but things got so bad that she eventually sought medical care. She was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, which limits the secretion of necessary hormones that control how a body uses energy, and polycystic ovarian disease (PCOD), in which enlarged ovaries secrete hormones that cause health issues.

Then, 15 years after giving birth to her son, she found herself pregnant again. She faced insults and name-calling daily because of her age and the long gap since her first baby. Both are considered shameful by those who carry conservative beliefs in India.


Armenia, selective abortion remains a concern

Once a widespread phenomenon in Armenia, selective abortion has declined in the last decade. However, according to the data up to 2022, the practice of prenatal selection based on gender has started again

Armine Avetisyan Yerevan

Selective abortion has been an issue in Armenia in recent years. As a result of efforts by the government and the private sector, it seemed that many families had given up on the idea of having only a male child, but after the war of 2020 the issue has become relevant again. There are still families in Armenia who choose selective abortion.

Filling the loss
“My brother died in 2020. It was a war. I missed my brother, I was looking for his replacement everywhere...”, Gayane (the name is changed), 38, who is pregnant and expecting a boy, begins her story.


India – Abortion for Survivors of Sexual Assault: What Are the Delhi HC Guidelines?

The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act is now to be read with the guidelines issued by the Delhi High Court.

20 Aug 2023

On 9 August, the Delhi High Court added two important guidelines for officers, doctors, and other authorities in cases of medical termination of pregnancy of sexual assault survivors. The court said:

  • The medical termination of the pregnancy is to be carried out with "utmost caution" by the medical professional involved.
  • The investigating officer must ensure that the survivor is taken to the hospital within 24 hours of receiving an order for the medical termination of the pregnancy and ensure that the foetus is preserved (whenever such an order is issued).

The HC issued these guidelines after a 14-year-old survivor of sexual assault and her mother moved court this year, seeking termination of the pregnancy of the minor. She was over 24 weeks pregnant in January.


Privacy For Minors Seeking Abortion Post Consensual Sex: Madras HC

In a significant legal announcement, the Madras High Court has ruled that doctors are not obligated to reveal the identity of a minor seeking termination of pregnancy due to consensual sexual activity.

Harnur Watta
Aug 19, 2023

In a significant legal pronouncement, the Madras High Court has ruled that doctors are not obligated to reveal the identity of a minor seeking termination of pregnancy due to consensual sexual activity.

This landmark decision was issued by a Special Bench of Justices N Anand Venkatesh and Sunder Mohan, specially convened to address cases involving the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.