Even in countries where abortion is legal, access to safe abortions remains challenging
By Bansari Kamdar
June 15, 2021
One in every four maternal deaths around the world happens in South Asia. Lack of access to safe and legal abortions and contraceptives is a leading reason for the region’s high maternal mortality rate. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), less than half the abortions in South and Central Asia were safe.
In Bhutan, which has a 1.4 percent case fatality rate, one of the main reasons for maternal mortality is abortion complications. Section 146 of Bhutan’s Penal Code legalizes abortion only if it is to save the life of the woman, or if the pregnancy resulted from incest and rape or the mother is not of sound mental condition. Denied access to safe abortion, many Bhutanese women cross the border to neighboring India, where abortion, while legal on most grounds, remains dangerous.
Sri Lanka’s abortion laws are among the world's most restrictive, yet hundreds of women risk their lives every day with illegal terminations
By Meghan Davidson Ladly
5 August 2020
In an unassuming house in the Sri Lankan city of Negombo, Achala is bravely
breaking a taboo. With poise and calm the 36-year-old is talking about her
abortion, three years previously. While she is hardly alone in terminating a
pregnancy, few Sri Lankan women are willing to openly discuss their experiences
in a country where the issue remains legally and culturally off limits.
Sri Lanka’s abortion laws are among the most restrictive in the world and
attempts at legal reform are held up in parliament. Yet every day hundreds of
women are thought to obtain illegal abortions, risking their lives and
FPA unveils book on sexual and reproductive health
Monday, 16 December 2019
The Family Planning Association of Sri Lanka (FPA Sri Lanka), the foremost Sri Lankan non-governmental organisation which deals with issues concerning family planning, sexual and reproductive health and welfare in the country, launched a book titled ‘Sexual and Reproductive Health Research in Sri Lanka: Current Status, Challenges and Directions (2010-2019)’ on 13 December at the FPA Sri Lanka Auditorium.
This is a milestone publication for FPA Sri Lanka, a prominent member of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) in South Asia as it has been a long-term institutional objective. It includes selected landmark abstracts presented and published by FPA Sri Lanka in national and international journals and conferences for the period 2010-2019. In addition, it also compiles several review articles by proficient authors with competence and experience in multifarious subject areas such as sexual and reproductive health, demography and sociology. A focus on data and evidence is particularly useful as it helps fill a void besides giving a much-needed fillip to evidence-based programming and service delivery.
Abortion – Where is Sri Lanka On The Spectrum?
“If you are not in favour of legal abortion, then you are in favour of illegal abortion” - Prof. Arulkumaran
On October 28, 2012, Savita Halappanavar, a young Indian dentist, died in Ireland due to a septic miscarriage. This created major uproar in Ireland because she had requested an abortion at an earlier stage in the pregnancy but was denied her request because the medical team did not judge her life to be in danger (the law in Ireland was that an abortion could only be granted if the mother’s life was at risk). The campaign that followed culminated in a referendum in Ireland earlier this year, where nearly two in three Irish voters opted to change the current law. The referendum also saw the highest turnout for a ballot on social issues. The amendment that is currently being discussed will allow for terminations in the first 12 weeks of the pregnancy, and up to 24 weeks for exceptional circumstances.
In November 2012, former President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Professor Sabaratnam Arulkumaran, was appointed by the Ireland Health Services as the Chair of a panel inquiry into the death of Savita Halappanavar. Arulkumaran recently visited Sri Lanka, and on August 9 spoke at a discussion on unsafe abortions, organised by the Family Planning Association of Sri Lanka.
Catholic women's group calls to legalize abortion in Sri Lanka
Church demands govt dismiss bill to de-outlaw terminations in cases of rape, fetal impairment that threaten women's lives
Catholic women's group calls to legalize abortion in Sri Lanka
March 16, 2018
Some Catholic laywomen and doctors in Sri Lanka are demanding changes to the country's legal framework as they push to decriminalise abortion in the face of heavy opposition from local bishops.
The Feminist Catholic Network (FCN) recently signed a petition in support of proposed legal amendments that want to expand on current provisions in cases of rape, incest and serious fetal impairment.
Sri Lankan Women Too Scared to Seek Legal Post-Abortion Care
Abortion is illegal in almost all cases in Sri Lanka, but it’s perfectly legal for women to seek help after complications from backstreet abortions. Still, the fear of stigma and discrimination prevents many from coming forward.
Written by Sophie Cousins
Published on Dec. 11, 2017
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – When Pabita* met her boyfriend, she thought he was the one. He told her he loved her and she dreamed of their marriage, one where her parents, who no longer live in Sri Lanka, would come home for the celebration.
She thought nothing of it when he jokingly pulled her into the water at the beach on the outskirts of Colombo last August, and told her she could get changed into fresh dry clothes at a nearby hotel.
Revisiting the debate on abortion law
October 07, 2017
In August this year, Sri Lanka’s Cabinet approved a draft Bill allowing abortion under two circumstances — when the foetus is diagnosed with a lethal congenital malformation or when the pregnancy is caused by rape.
Seen by many as a potentially significant reform to the country’s existing law, which permits abortion only to save a woman’s life, the move sparked a spontaneous debate.
Continued at source: http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/revisiting-the-debate-on-abortion-law/article19820226.ece
Abortion, Women and Personhood
The government’s plans to liberalise Sri Lanka’s abortion laws has polarised public opinion. Abortion is either supported as a natural extension of a woman’s autonomy and right to choose, or is opposed as legalised murder. But is there a path beyond the legalise vs criminalise debate?
Dominance and Choice
Support for abortion is founded on women’s dignity, rights and choice – things that many Sri Lankan women are denied each day. They face constant harassment on the bus and the streets. They are the victims of startling levels of domestic violence and abuse. They are constrained about what they can say, wear and do. They are also denied a voice in political, religious and legal institutions. These experiences of women are rooted in a system of male dominance – a system which allows men to police and control the everyday lives and choices of many women.
Continued at source: http://groundviews.org/2017/09/20/abortion-women-and-personhood/
Abortion: Medical doctors brief religious leaders
A group of medical doctors representing the Health Ministry met with religious leaders of the the Congress of Religions at Sri Sambodhi Maha Viharaya in Colombo yesterday afternoon to explain and discuss about the proposed amendments to abortion laws.
Ven. Ittapana Dhammalankara Mahanayaka Thera, Prof. Ven. Bellanwila Wimalaratana Thera, Ven. Dr. Akuratiye Nanda Thera, Ven. Thiniyawala Palitha Thera, Archbishop of Colombo His Eminence Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, Ash Sheikh Fazil Farook of All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU) and number of other religious leaders attended the meeting representing the Congress of Religions.
Continued at source: Daily Mirror: http://www.dailymirror.lk/136652/Abortion-Medical-doctors-brief-religious-leaders
Sri Lanka nabs Indian for smuggling abortion pills worth Rs 2.3 million
Aug 30, 2017
COLOMBO: Sri Lankan authorities have arrested an Indian man for allegedly smuggling highly potent abortion pills worth Rs 2.3 million, according to a media report today.
The Indian, who arrived from New Delhi on a SriLankan Airlines flight yesterday, had tried to leave without declaring the huge quantity of the pills, the Colombo Page reported.
Upon inspection, Lanka Customs officers found the illegal medicine stock in his luggage.
The suspect, who was not identified, had visited Sri Lanka on several occasions earlier. He has been buying the medicine from India for a low price and selling it in the country for a large amount of money, the report said.
Source: Times of India: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/sri-lanka-nabs-indian-for-smuggling-abortion-pills-worth-rs-2-3-million/articleshow/60292975.cms