In the hands of untrained practitioners, an already difficult choice comes with potentially deadly consequences
BY SHAZIA MEHBOOB TANOLI
PUBLISHED OCTOBER 16, 2022
“Fear, pressure, and pain of abortion were much more than giving birth to a child”, says Hareem, who had an induced abortion at a health care facility in Rawalpindi. Although it was her second baby, she had to abort her six-week-old pregnancy because of the baby’s abnormal growth. Recalling her experience of abortion, she says, “It was as though everything from inside me was being wrenched out in the form of blood and pieces. It took me weeks to recover physically and mentally.”
Hareem was treated in a quality health care facility, yet her recovery took weeks. That is why it is hard to imagine Safina’s experience who did not have access to a good and safe medical service and suffered the pain of abortion at the hands of an untrained midwife.
Mohammad Javed Pasha
July 31, 2022
Abortion is a public health concern besides being a sensitive issue with religious, moral, cultural and political dimensions. More than a quarter of the world’s people live in countries where the procedure is permitted only in cases of rape, incest, fetal abnormalities or to save the pregnant person’s life. Abortions still occur in these countries, nearly half of them are unsafe, performed by unskilled practitioners or in unhygienic conditions, or both.
Abortions performed in unsafe conditions claim the lives of tens of thousands of women around the world every year and leave many times that with chronic and often irreversible physical and mental health problems becoming a drain on the resources of public health systems. Controversy, however, often overshadows the public health impact. An estimated 73 million abortions occur globally each year. Unsafe abortions accounts for up to 13 percent of deaths related to pregnancy and childbirth worldwide. Globally, at least 7 million women are treated every year for complications from unsafe abortions.
Tuesday May 31 2022
There has recently been a significant debate on unsafe abortions and their consequences throughout the world since a document of the draft judgement by the Supreme Court of the United States overturning Roe v. Wade (410 U.S. 113) was leaked. Roe v Wade is a landmark US case. The verdict, which came out on January 22, 1973, said that states can't put too many restrictions on abortion.
Due to restrictive laws and policies, many women and girls (survivors/victims of child marriage, etc.) are forced to seek unsafe abortions, unavailability of safe abortion services, the high financial cost of accessing safe abortion services, and societal attitudes towards abortion and gender inequality. The WHO has revealed that: "Unsafe abortion is a leading cause of maternal deaths and morbidities. It can lead to physical and mental health complications and social and financial burdens for women, communities, and health systems."
Updated 03 Nov, 2021
By Neha Khan & Sadia Wali
Sakina has two daughters and two sons aged 7, 5, 3 respectively and the youngest is three months old and nursing. Sakina suddenly learns she is pregnant, as she did not use any method of family planning.
Sakina’s family is financially weak; her husband is the sole earner as a daily wage laborer and their circumstances do not allow them to have another child. Everyone Sakina consults tells her to continue with this pregnancy and use family planning methods for the future.
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.
April 23, 2021
To say that we live in a patriarchal society would be a cliché, but how else can we describe a society where women can’t even make decisions regarding their own body, and regarding when and how many children to have.
Feminists have for years been advocating for equal rights for women not only in education and health but in all spheres of life. And when it comes to women’s rights, reproductive health is an important segment where women need to make informed decisions. Unfortunately, according to the State of World Population 2019 report, Pakistan’s maternal mortality (death due to pregnancy-related complication) rate was still as high as 178 women per 100,000. Though it has improved from 276 in 2008 and 375 per 100,000 in 1995, it is still quite high, as compared to other countries in the region.
Women face agonising barriers to accessing quality healthcare, consultation
February 26, 2021
LAHORE: The recent incidents of deaths of women during abortion in Lahore need to be looked beyond the moral implications.
These women lost their lives not because of the suspicions over their character or their relations but due to the absence of the needed healthcare facilities.
JANUARY 27, 2021
Lahore police on Tuesday made more arrests in connection with the incident of recovery of the female student’s body outside the emergency ward of a teaching hospital in Lahore.
Police officials have arrested another suspect named Owais in the case after getting his information from an accused, Usama, who had reportedly brought Maryam’s body to the Lahore’s Jinnah Hospital on Sunday.
By News desk
January 26, 2021
The police officials have arrested a suspect who allegedly fled along with his accomplice after leaving the body of a female student outside the emergency ward of Lahore Jinnah Hospital on Monday.
Earlier, the body of a girl student was recovered outside the emergency ward of Jinnah Hospital which was sent medico-legal formalities by the police. The deceased female student was identified as Marium, a resident of Gujrat, whose body was later handed over to the relatives after conducting a post-mortem.
The initial post-mortem report revealed that the female student had allegedly died due to excessive bleeding during an unsafe abortion. Police said that the final post-mortem report will provide more facts regarding her death.
Ground reality reveals deep rooted patriarchy that has taken hold of both formal state institutions and informal ones
September 11, 2020
One would think it is simple — one’s body
belongs to oneself. The reality is that a woman’s body does not belong entirely
to her. It belongs to the state, family, religious institutions and ideology.
Globally, controlling a woman’s body is one of the tools used to maintain the
deeply entrenched patriarchal status quo. For centuries, this is how it has
been regardless of the advancement societies make. That simple idea then that a
woman’s body belongs to her is in fact really, even in this day and age, a