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.


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.


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.


Report: 67% abortions in India unsafe, cause nearly 8 deaths every day

Report highlights grim reality of unintended pregnancies, abortions in India

Written by Esha Roy | New Delhi
March 31, 2022

Unsafe abortions are the third leading cause of maternal mortality in India, and close to 8 women die from causes related to unsafe abortions each day, according to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)’s State of the World Population Report 2022. Between 2007-2011, 67 per cent of abortions in India were classified as unsafe.

The report released Wednesday, titled ‘Seeing the Unseen: the case for action in the neglected crisis of unintended pregnancy’, has found that 121 million unintended pregnancies occur every year globally, an average of 331,000 a day. One in seven unintended pregnancies in the world take place in India. The unintended pregnancies, and subsequent abortions, are intimately linked with the overall development of the country. As education and income levels increase, it results in a lowering of unintended pregnancies, says the report.


‘I Paid The Price With My Womb’: Tales Of Unsafe Abortions in India
Developing countries’ contribution is 97% of all unsafe abortions. More than half of them occur in Asia.

Published: 21 Mar 2022

Rajlaxmi* (name changed) was sitting on the pavement of her rented shanty in Neharpar, Faridabad. She looked different from the last time I saw her.

Something was amiss.

Her eyes were hollow, her pearly white smile
seemed to have fallen into an abyss, her child-like persona absent.


India – A Historian and Her Archives

As a historian, my experience in the archives has been fascinating, confusing and illuminating, often all together. A Historian and Her Archives

Urvi Desai

“Excuse me, sir,” I asked, trying to get the attention of the staff member at the Maharashtra State Archives, a public archive located in the heart of South Bombay. I had just spent several moments pacing up and down the dark corridors stacked with piles and piles of cloth-bound files and was making no headway in my search. I continued despite the silence in response, “Could you please direct me to the section with the Times of India newspapers from the 1930s onwards?” I waited in anticipation.

“Tumi kaun?” he finally responded, peering from behind a shelf. This meant, “Who are you?” in Marathi. Switching quickly from English to Marathi, I introduced myself as a PhD student with McGill University working on the history of birth control in India.


Telemedicine services for improving safe abortion accessibility in India: Need of the hour

February 12, 2022
Debanjana Choudhuri, gender and climate justice specialist.

The spread of novel coronavirus has convulsed every aspect of life all over the world. With life coming to a standstill due to repeated lockdowns, the pandemic has exposed the vulnerability of not only our society, but also of our healthcare system. India is one of the nations, which has been severely impacted due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Crucial measures, such as imposition of lockdowns, were taken to contain the spread of the virus, however, the decreased mobility also resulted in higher incidences of intimate partner violence, changes in migrant living patterns, delay in accessing other healthcare services including contraceptive and safe abortion care and potential changes to decisions about parenting.

Contrariwise, telemedicine was a silver-lining during this period, and it revolutionised access to healthcare services worldwide. India too acknowledged the credibility and viability of these services by introducing telemedicine guidelines. Today, from covid tests to other screenings telemedicine in India, is flourishing each day in every sphere. But is it the same for safe abortion services? Sadly, the answer is NO! Although India recognised the essentiality of contraception and safe abortion services, the telemedicine guidelines reflected otherwise, as it still does not include abortion under its purview.