India – Illegal abortion centre unearthed in Jalna, seven booked

Seven people were booked after an illegal abortion centre was unearthed in Jalna district of Maharashtra, officials said on Saturday.

30 APR 2022

In the raid that was carried out by a team led by the civil surgeon and police on Friday night in Dhawaleshwar area here, a female fetus, medicines, abortion kits, a register were seized, they said.

 "A woman who was present at the centre to undergo medical termination of a female fetus has been shifted to a nearby hospital. The main accused is a BAMS doctor who ran away with a sonography machine while the raid was underway," an official said.


India – Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) in India [Part 1]

April 28, 2022
Aashraya Seth

Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) are critical to people’s health and well-being, as well as economic development and global prosperity. Governments have committed to investment in SRHR through international accords. However, progress has been impeded by a lack of political will, insufficient resources, continued discrimination against women and girls, and a refusal to address sexuality issues openly and thoroughly. Underprivileged women, especially from developing countries are affected by unintended pregnancies which lead to maternal death and disability, sexually transmitted infections including HIV, gender-based violence and other problems related to reproductive system and sexual behaviour. The inclusion of SRHR in SDGs and its enshrinement in international policy instruments obligates countries to ensure its fulfilment and mandate the recognition of sexual and reproductive health within the framework of human rights.

India, being signatory to the declaration on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and home to one-sixth of all humanity is obligated to ensure implementation of policies and laws that look after the sexual and reproductive health rights. The national laws and policies relevant to SRHR in India leave much scope for action in this direction and exhibit huge gaps. There have been extreme violations of autonomy and sexual and reproductive rights especially of women belonging to marginalised communities.


China’s complex abortion problem

20 APR 2022

Recent official pronouncements in China have sparked speculation that tighter restrictions on abortion may be in the offing. Six months ago, the Chinese State Council issued guidelines to lower the number of abortions performed for non-medical reasons. And in February, China's family-planning association announced that the authorities would launch a special abortion intervention campaign to reduce unwanted pregnancies and abortions among teenagers.

But these official interventions, under the guise of "enhancing women's reproductive health", are in fact a response to China's growing fertility crisis. The one-child policy, which was implemented nationwide in 1980, forced down China's fertility rate for two generations, and the introduction of the two-child policy in 2016 has failed to boost it. Even according to the inflated official figures, China's fertility rate was only 1.3 children per woman in 2020 and 1.1-1.2 children per woman last year, well below the rates of 1.8, 1.7, and 1.5 predicted by the Chinese authorities, the United Nations, and the US Census Bureau, respectively.


India: Why are women seeking unsafe abortions?

Although abortion is legal, over two-thirds of abortions in India are considered to be risky. Barriers to safe abortion include a shortage of doctors in rural areas, a lack of confidentiality and widespread stigma.

April 13, 2022

Chitra (name changed) had to travel more than 40 kilometers (25 miles) from her home to the city of Gurgaon to get an abortion so that her family members would not find out.

"The contraceptive failed, and I did not wish to have a child," she said. "I was repeatedly questioned and treated rudely by the doctors as well as nurses and other staff at the clinic," the 20-year-old student told DW.


Tubectomy: Last hope for hapless women

Women are willing to face any risk to undergo sterilisation in order to avoid unintended pregnancies through mostly unprotected sex

Saturday, 09 April 2022
Swapna Majumdar

In August last year, over a hundred women, majority of them tribal, underwent tubectomy surgeries in the Surguja district of Chhattisgarh. Unbelievable as it may sound, all the 101 sterilisation procedures were carried out by one surgeon within a span of eight hours in a small community centre. Under the central Government’s National Family Welfare Programme guidelines, a doctor can conduct a maximum of 30 sterilisations in a day.

When issued a showcause notice by the state health department asking why this was done, the concerned doctor contended he had been pressurised to do so by the villagers. He said the villagers told him that they had travelled long distances for the procedure and it would be difficult for them tocome again. Hence, all the women had to be operated the same day.


Philippines – Abortion is an open secret

APR 3, 2022
ANA P. SANTOS, Rappler

Chances are, you know a woman or are friends with a woman who has needed an abortion

In the eyes of the law, abortion is a crime. In the reality of women’s lives as told in tentative whispers and in hushed conversations, abortion is an open secret.

From the poetic irony of the herbal concoctions openly sold in market stalls in front of Quiapo Church. To the whisper network in the grassroot communities where everyone knows someone who knows someone who can perform an abortion. To the online space, where, as this I-Witness documentary showed, abortion pills are bought and sold through PM and delivered via courier.


Nepal – ‘Govt not serious about decriminalising abortion’

By Ram Kumar Kamat
Apr 03, 2022

KATHMANDU, APRIL 2 - Even one year after Nepal accepted the Human Rights Council's universal periodic review recommendation that it should decriminalise abortion, the government has not taken any concrete steps to amend the prevailing laws that criminalise abortion.

In 2018, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women Committee had also recommended that Nepal fully decriminalise abortion in all cases and legalise it at least in the cases of health complications of the mother.


Histories That Both Diverge and Converge: Birth Control in India and Canada

The sexual health markets emerged in response to the demand for birth control, however, they did not deliver in terms of quality or efficacy of product, even less so, towards women’s wellbeing.

Urvi Desai
April 1, 2022

On a sticky February afternoon in 1936,
Margaret Sanger, an American birth control advocate, attended the first
All-India Population Conference held at the famous Cowasjee Jehangir Hall in
Bombay (present-day Mumbai). The conference was attended by the wealthy of
Bombay society, the who’s who in the field, as well as doctors, advocates,
government officials, and more. At around the same time, family planning
societies began to emerge in India. These societies promoted birth control and
advised women who visited their centres about possible birth control
techniques. Varied as the organisations were, they shared the common goal of
insisting that poor women use birth control products to control reproduction.


India – State of World Population Report: A case for action in the neglected crisis of unintended pregnancy

by Oneindia Correspondent
Thursday, March 31, 2022

The State of World Population (SoWP) is an annual report published by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the sexual and reproductive health agency of the United Nations.

Each edition covers and analyses developments and trends in world population and demographics, as well as shedding light on specific regions, countries and population groups and the unique challenges they face. Each year, SoWP focuses on a particular theme and presents an in-depth analysis on the subject matter covered. The SoWP 2022 brings the spotlight to a critical theme: Expecting more: The preventable crisis of unintended pregnancy.


Nearly half of the pregnancies in Nepal are unintended, UN agency says

Half of the 1.2 million pregnancies in the country were unintended and nearly 359,000 ended in abortion in 2017.

Arjun Poudel
March 31, 2022

Nearly half of the pregnancies in Nepal are unintended and close to two-thirds of them ended in abortion, according to a recent report by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

The UNFPA’s “State of World Population 2022” report titled, “Seeing the Unseen”, says half of the 1.2 million pregnancies in 2017 in Nepal were unintended and nearly 359,000 were aborted.