Nepal – Decrminalise abortion: Rights activists

By Ram Kumar Kamat
Mar 18, 2023

Kathmandu – Article 38(2) of the constitution ensures the right of every woman to safe motherhood and reproductive health thereby acknowledging the right to safe abortion as part of reproductive health right, but in practice, women have not been able to enjoy this right, due to criminalisation of abortion and a number of restrictive measures.

Executive Director of Forum for Women, Law and Development Sabin Shrestha said Safe Motherhood and Reproductive Health Rights Act, which was brought to enable women to enjoy their reproductive health rights, conversely prohibited abortion after 28 weeks of pregnancy.


Married Women Are Most Likely To Opt For Abortions In Developing Countries

Anuradha Varanasi
Feb 28, 2022

Access to safe abortions in low-income and middle-income countries is still a major struggle — thanks to socioeconomic factors, lack of skilled healthcare workers, and patriarchal norms that restrict women’s bodily autonomy, among other barriers. Globally, 45% of all abortions are unsafe and a whopping 97% of them take place in developing countries.

A new study published in the journal PLOS One has highlighted that married women were far more likely to undergo abortions in low-income and middle-income countries. Especially those who had more than four children or were above the age of 30 and highly educated.


Japan moves toward approving abortion pill in major shift

Feb 27, 2023

Japan is moving closer to approving an abortion pill for the first time, a step that could offer women more options amid calls for progress in gender equality, with a secondary panel at the health ministry expected to make a decision as early as March.

In January, an initial advisory panel at the health ministry approved the production and sale of the drug, Mefeego. It still needs approval from a separate panel at the ministry as it collects public comments online until Tuesday, with the final decision to be made by the health minister.


Vietnam – Teenagers lack knowledge about reproductive health

February 21, 2023

Some medical experts believed that minors lack basic knowledge and skills on protection and care for reproductive and sexual health, so they easily become victims of sexual abuse, leading to bad consequences. Lack of parents' and relatives’ care and schooling also worsened the problem.

According to the World Health Organization, children entering adolescence are going through many physical and psychological changes like exploring their own capabilities and expanding many new relationships. Teenagers having early sexual intercourse have a higher risk of sexually transmitted infections, unwanted pregnancy, and unsafe abortion.


India – Child marriage crackdown in Assam: Pregnant teens avoid hospital, resort to abortion fearing arrests

FEB 12 2023

With the Assam government coming down strong on child marriages and arresting over 2,700 people as of Friday for violations in this regard, fear and apprehension have gripped the pregnant teenagers in the state.

With their husbands and fathers either absconding or arrested, expecting mothers in their teens, overcome by fear, are backing away from receiving proper medical attention. Few of the pregnant teenagers have even gone incommunicado with the ASHA workers in their villages fearing action.


India – Courts may ‘allow abortion beyond 24 weeks’ of pregnancy for sexual assault victims: Delhi HC

Single-judge bench of Justice Swarna Kanta Sharma issued guidelines while hearing a petition by a 14-yr-old victim, seeking abortion in the 25th week of her pregnancy.

27 January, 2023

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Wednesday issued guidelines for abortion in cases of sexual assault, noting that a victim cannot be forced to give birth to a child as it would violate her right to live with dignity.

The judgment delivered by a single-judge bench of Justice Swarna Kanta Sharma was uploaded Thursday on the Delhi HC website. The judge observed that crucial time is lost in the process of passing termination orders. It issued a slew of directions to investigating officers in cases of pregnancies exceeding 24 weeks.


1st oral abortion pill steps closer to approval in Japan

Jan 27, 2023

A pharmaceutical advisory body for Japan's health ministry on Friday expressed no objection to the manufacturing and marketing of an abortion pill, bringing the medication a step closer to becoming the first of its kind to gain approval in the country.

Abortions in early stages of pregnancies in Japan are currently limited to surgical procedures, and the oral pill, if approved, is seen as a new option that could lighten both physical and mental stress on women.


Japan’s 1st Oral Abortion Option up for Approval

The Yomiuri Shimbun
January 22, 2023

Experts on Friday will deliberate whether to approve an oral, two-drug combination to induce an abortion for the first time in Japan, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry has announced.

In Japan, the practice of abortion has been limited to surgery, and if the ministry’s expert committee approves the oral combination, it may provide a less burdensome option for women.


India – Minors not banned from buying contraceptives, clarifies dept

January 21, 2023
Rachana Ramesh

Bengaluru: The Drugs Control Department of Karnataka issued a diktat to all pharmacists banning them from selling condoms, oral contraceptives and antidepressants to minors, as was reported on Wednesday. The move came after condoms, contraceptives, cigarettes and whiteners were found in bags of Class 10 students during a search by the management of a school recently.

Following this development, the Drug Control Department received several petitions requesting it to take suitable action. However, on Thursday, the department denied having issued the circular and media reports claimed that the Drug Controller of the state said that "they were only trying to create awareness by telling pharmacists to counsel minors who want to purchase condoms and oral contraceptives.”


India – Pharmacies in Coimbatore district instructed not to sell abortion pills over the counter

January 14, 2023

The Drugs Control Department has instructed pharmacies in Coimbatore district not to sell abortion pills to people who do not produce a valid prescription from a gynaecologist. The instruction was given to pharmacy owners at a recent meeting arranged by the department here.

According to the department officials, the meeting was held based on an instruction issued by P.V. Vijayalakshmi, Director of Drugs Control, on cautious handling of abortion pills to medical shops across Tamil Nadu.