Deepika Singhania, MAKERS India
28 November 2020
Getting an abortion in India is not just about finding the right doctor who can perform the procedure in a safe manner and through legal methods, it’s also about dealing with the stigma and navigating the laws around it. Though we may be living in 2020, if an Indian woman seeks termination of pregnancy even today, she can not do so openly without judgment and people trying to change her mind.
Says 26-year-old Mithila (name changed), “When I got pregnant, my boyfriend and I couldn’t talk to our friends or family about it. So, we looked up a gynaecologist online. As expected, we got lectured about having sex before marriage and got asked the dreaded question – do your parents know?” The doctor refused to perform the termination and as luck would have it, they found a different doctor who turned out to be very supportive.
27 November 2020
Abortion. Even saying the word out loud in public might elicit a death stare or two.
This medical procedure has a horde of myths and misunderstandings surrounding it, almost a taboo for many women.
During an illegal sex determination it was revealed that the victim was carrying a girl child, after which the family members made her undergo a forceful abortion.
22nd November 2020
CHIKBALLAPUR: A 28-year-old woman died after undergoing an alleged forced abortion as her in-laws 'didn't want a third girl child' and were keen on raising a boy.
Speaking to The New Indian Express, GK Mithun
Kumar said that the woman, Sreekanya, resident of Polavarapalli Village of
Bagepalli, got married to 38-year-old Somashekar, resident of Kothapalli
Village in 2014. They gave birth to two daughters, aged about 6 and 4 years,
and the husband's family now wanted a male child.
By Janees Rafiq
26th October, 2020
Unsafe abortions have devastating effects on women’s health. Every year around 42 million women with unintended pregnancies choose abortion. Nearly half of these procedures that about 20 million abortions are unsafe. Around 68,000 women die because of unsafe abortions, making it one of the causes of increasing maternal mortality rate. Of women who survive unsafe abortions, 5 million suffer long-term health complications. Unsafe abortion is thus a pressing issue.
While some abortions are self-induced, most of them are performed by providers lacking required qualifications and skills to perform abortions and hence termed unsafe WHO defines unsafe abortion as a procedure for terminating an unintended pregnancy carried out either by persons lacking skills or in an environment that does not conform to minimal medical standards or both. According to WHO, every 8 minutes, a woman in a developing country dies due to complications arising out of unsafe abortions.
By Ipas Development Foundation in Gender and Sexuality, Sexual Health, Taboos
17th October, 2020
Co-authored by Shivi Sukhija and Parul
Societal norms and cultures affect all of us and often take over our decision making powers and capabilities. One commonly occurring, but rarely discussed, instance is when a woman has an unintended pregnancy. Any woman in such a scenario, whether married or unmarried, will have two options available with her – to continue the pregnancy or to consider various options available for its termination or abortion.
The decision should be hers and Indian law also permits termination of pregnancy under a broad range of conditions. But a complicated journey begins when she decides to terminate the pregnancy and due to societal concerns and taboos attached with abortion, she herself or her partner are unable to discuss their thoughts and feelings with peers and families. As a result, in an effort to hide the unintended pregnancy and their decision to terminate it, the woman and her partner end up seeking unsafe abortion services.
On September 23, the Orissa high court — responding to a writ petition concerning the medical termination of pregnancy — refused a physically disabled and mentally challenged rape victim’s request to abort her 24-week-old foetus. The high court relied on the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act 1971 and the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Rules 2003, plus the advice of doctors, to deny permission. Though the court did grant monetary compensation to support the child’s upbringing, and made the state responsible for the child’s education, was the decision ethical?
Given the woman’s right to privacy, dignity and bodily rights, the case of mental illness, the trauma of rape giving rise to the pregnancy, the state’s interest in preserving life and the law of the land, finding which way the ethical compass here isn’t easy.
September 28, 2020
Vinoj and Anisha in Voices
The whole world except for the woman
continues to debate the politics of abortion, the legality and morality of
abortion. Let us pause and think about the woman who deserves a respectful
termination if she chooses not to continue her pregnancy.
Even after 15 years of working in this field, we often find it difficult to
explain the need for what we do. We work to reduce deaths and disabilities due
to unsafe abortions; in other words, we work to increase access to safe
abortions. But the word abortion and its associations are so loaded that it is
assumed that indeed all those who die or suffer morbidities due to an unsafe
abortion deserve them. Isn’t it a sin to have sex outside of marriage or to not
want a child in marriage? It is these opinions and many more that push millions
of women in India every year to resort to unsafe methods of abortions.
Tue, Sep 22 2020
New Delhi, Sep 22 (IANS): High Courts across the nation are currently witnessing a substantial increase in abortion cases, revealed a legal report on Tuesday.
In 'Assessing the Judiciary's Role in Access to Safe Abortion- II' report by Pratigya campaign, cases seeking permission of termination of pregnancy from the High Courts in India from May 2019 to August were analysed.
There were total 243 cases filed across 14
high courts and one appeal before the Supreme Court. In 84 per cent of the
cases, permissions were given to terminate the pregnancy.
V S Chandrashekar
Sep 19 2020
The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Amendment Bill 2020 is due to be discussed in an upcoming Rajya Sabha session. This is the second time, in its 49 years of existence, that the MTP Act will be amended. While introducing the Bill in the Lok Sabha, the Health Minister highlighted the government’s intent to improve access to safe, affordable and legal abortion services for women without compromising on safety, quality of care and more importantly to ensure dignity, autonomy, confidentiality and justice for women who need to terminate their pregnancies.
The Amendment Bill proposes some welcome changes-- it replaces the phrase “married woman and her husband” with “woman and her partner”; increases the upper gestation limit to 20-24 weeks for “certain categories of women”; reduces opinion required for termination of pregnancy between the 12th and 20th week of gestation from two providers to one and removes upper gestation limit for foetal abnormalities ‘necessitated by the diagnosis of a Medical Board.”
After decades of advocacy, it took the Lok Sabha only 15 days—without adequate consultation with those involved—to clear amendments to India’s abortion laws. Instead of making abortion easier for women who need it, such as rape survivors, the changes only make it more difficult.
Sept 6, 2020
New Delhi: In 2019, a 13-year-old rape survivor in Madhya Pradesh found out she was pregnant and in her 24th week. With the help of Nikita Sonawane, a lawyer associated with the Criminal Justice and Police Accountability Project (CPAProject), an advocacy, she approached the High Court in June 2019. The court allowed her to go ahead with the termination of pregnancy—but only six weeks later, by which time she already reached her 30th week.
“The doctors had to induce delivery. She was in labour for 24 hours,” said Sonawane. Her lawyers pleaded for mental-health support but the biggest government hospital in Madhya Pradesh did not have a child psychologist. "Finally, a psychiatrist was arranged, said Sonavane. "It was an immensely harrowing experience for her.”