India – 16 Days Of Activism Against GBV: How Language & Media Shape Narratives Around Abortion, Contraception & Pregnancy

By Rangeen Khidki
December 6, 2021

In India and its patriarchal society, where power is usually vested in the hands of cis gender-heterosexual men, The languages are also shaped by the same patriarchal structure. The languages, which we usually use, stigmatise and perpetuate gender discrimination, bodily autonomy, and the choice and rights of marginalised genders. It is, therefore, important to look at how languages, which form an integral part of our socialisation process, are being shaped and reshaped by agents of socialisation and by those in power and control of resources and how these languages and media shape narratives around abortion.

The Brahmanical patriarchal structure in India controls every aspect of a woman’s life, putting the control of sexuality of women at the centre. One of the reasons why it is done is for the continuation of the male lineage. Therefore, when a woman gets pregnant, in a cis gender-heterosexual marriage bond, it is glorified.


Abortion in India: Bridging the gap between progressive legislation and implementation

When India first passed its abortion legislation in 1971, it was one of the most progressive laws in the world. Fifty years and an amendment later, the country is struggling to offer rights-based abortion care.

Date 18.11.2021
Seerat Chabba (New Delhi)

Shilpa (name changed) found out she was pregnant at the age of 21. She had just enrolled herself into graduate school in India's commercial capital of Mumbai. Distraught and alone in a big city, she took an auto-rickshaw to the nearest hospital and got an appointment with a gynecologist.

Braving judgmental glances, the first question that she had to answer was: "Are you married?" In many parts of India, this question is asked when the doctor wants to know whether the person has been sexually active. Premarital sex remains taboo.


India – The Challenges Of Accessing Self-Managed Abortions During COVID-19

By Pragati Parihar
November 16, 2021

In the context of restrictions brought about by COVID-19 and Texas’ six-week abortion laws, the access to safe reproductive and sexual health choices has been brought back again to global focus. Apart from the traditional beliefs and legal norms concerning abortions, the different methods of abortion have also come to be an integral part of the discussion.

Self-managed abortions, also known as abortion by pills or medical abortions, is seen as one of the most effective ways to end an unintended pregnancy, even in countries with strict abortion laws. Self-managed abortions are defined as self-sourcing of abortion pills, outside of the clinical environment. It could be done from the comfort of one’s home or anywhere else that’s convenient to the abortion seeker.


India – Child Marriages, Unplanned Pregnancies And Unsafe Abortions Still High In Rajasthan, Warns Expert

Nearly 15 of every 1,000 adolescent girls in Rajasthan aged undergo induced abortions annually, 60% of these abortions are 'unsafe', reveals an NGO.

Longjam Dineshwori
November 3, 2021

Women with unwanted pregnancies often resort to unsafe abortion when they do not have access to safe abortion. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 50% of all abortions worldwide are unsafe, and almost all of these unsafe abortions take place in developing countries. Unsafe abortions are a critical reproductive-health issue in the Indian state of Rajasthan, said Divya Santhanam, Senior State Program Manager, Population Foundation of India.

Based on data from a recent study, the NGO noted that 35% of women aged 20-24 years in Rajasthan reported getting married before 18 years of age, which is quite high compared to the national average of 26%. Nearly 15 of every 1,000 girls in Rajasthan in the age group 15-19 years undergo induced abortions annually. Only 40 percent of these abortions occur with assistance from healthcare providers, indicating that the rest 60 percent of the abortions in the age group are 'unsafe' and without any trained assistance, the NGO highlighted in a press release.


India – New abortion rules recognise minors as vulnerable, seek to make services more accessible to them

Jagriti Chandra, NEW DELHI
OCTOBER 30, 2021

The new abortion rules notified by the Government recently recognise minors as a vulnerable category and seek to make services more accessible to them. But social stigma and conflict with POCSO Act, 2012, or the law against child sexual abuse, pose hurdles.

The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Amendment Rules, 2021, define new categories of vulnerable women who are allowed termination up to 24 weeks upon meeting certain conditions and with the permission of two doctors. These include minors, survivors of sexual assault and those with foetal malformation among others. Others may seek abortion up to 20 weeks with the permission of one doctor upon meeting certain criteria…


World Contraception Day 2021: History, theme and significance of global event to raise awareness about family planning

Since the outbreak of the pandemic in 2020, it has negatively impacted the well-being of women in multiple ways, including contraception, family planning and gender-based violence

FP Staff
September 26, 2021

The international community observes World Contraception Day on 26 September to recognise the right of all couples and individuals to decide freely and responsibly on the number and spacing of their children. The importance of it was asserted at the International Conference on Population and Development in 1994, and is reflected in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development under target 3.7. “By 2030, ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive healthcare services, including for family planning, information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programmes”.


India – Rape survivor watches videos on YouTube, performs self-abortion in Nagpur

Soumitra Bose / TNN
Sep 25, 2021

NAGPUR: A 24-year-old rape survivor performed an abortion on herself, including snapping the umbilical cord, guided by YouTube videos, at her residence in North Nagpur. The woman was alone at home as her family had gone to Mumbai when she delivered the stillborn fetus in the seventh month of pregnancy. The fetus was buried by her paramour, who is already married with a son from his second wife.

In her statement to the police, the rape victim said her paramour had forced himself upon her on more than 50 occasions since 2016 at different places. The paramour, Sohail Wahab Khan, is now in custody of Yashodhara Nagar police station after being arrested on charges of rape on Thursday.


India – Is Media Channeling The Right Information On Abortion?

By Nayla Khwaja
September 16, 2021

As we know, pregnancy is usually celebrated
in Indian society and is considered a blessing and especially so, abortion
remains a tricky subject and has long been considered a taboo.

Abortion has been legal in India for past 50 years under certain circumstances
with the introduction of Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act 1971  – “It can be performed until 24 weeks
pregnancy after Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act amendment 2021 comes in
force by notification in Gazette of India with notification of formation of
Medical Termination of Pregnancy Amendment 2021 rules and regulations.” Until
then, abortion law in India allowed termination of pregnancy till 20 weeks. The
latest amendments to the MTP act further increase the upper gestation limit for
termination of pregnancies under special conditions and aim to improve access
to safe and quality services for women.


As US abortion ban sparks fierce backlash, India forges ahead in reproductive rights

Activists say governments must do more to ensure women’s safety during abortions

September 13, 2021
By Susanti Sarkar /  New Delhi

The passing of a new law in Texas that literally bans abortions has caused an outrage around the world, especially since the United States is seen as one of the most liberal countries in the world. India may be miles ahead in legalising abortions and making it relatively easier to access, but abortions remain a taboo subject in India as well. One of the most serious consequences that reproductive rights experts fear is the possible rise in unsafe abortions, which is statistically much worse in developing countries like India, where unsafe abortions are the third-leading cause of maternal deaths. Activists are concerned that despite a recent amendment to abortion law in India, it still denies women the final say on the matter.


It’s Been 50 Years Since India’s Abortion Law Was Passed. Where Do We Stand Now?

By Ainee Nizami Ahmedi
September 3rd, 2021

This week, the state of Texas passed an abortion law that prohibits women from opting for legal abortion after six weeks of pregnancy—well before most women will even know that they are pregnant. While the law is being met with an uproar, with many calling it an unconstitutional infringement on human rights, back in India, we stand with a recently amended abortion law that still gives doctors more accessibility than women.

Passed in 1971, the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act allows women to opt for abortion on the grounds of contraceptive failure. Post its recent amendment in 2021, abortion can be performed until 24 weeks of pregnancy, for special cases. While the earlier law stated that only a ‘married woman and her husband’ could opt for abortion, the marital status clause has now been removed. All pregnancies up to 20 weeks require one doctor’s approval, and between 20-24 weeks requires approval from two doctors.