India – How ‘Essential’ Abortion Services Are Inaccessible in the Lockdown

How ‘Essential’ Abortion Services Are Inaccessible in the Lockdown

Saakhi Chadha
Updated: 12/05/2020

A 19-year-old rape survivor in Mumbai found out she was pregnant right when India implemented its nationwide lockdown. She knew she had to get an abortion, but with no transport available and with many clinics shutting down their operations, she felt helpless and out of options.

“We went and picked her up and ensured she got the abortion at a public hospital. Forced sex is a critical issue in a lockdown and abortion services are required here and now,” Sangeeta Rege of the Centre for Enquiry into Health and Allied Themes (CEHAT), the NGO that intervened and arranged for the girl’s pass and travel, told Reuters.


Million ‘Unwanted’ Babies, More Deaths: Why India’s ‘Essential’ Abortion Service Isn’t Enough

Million 'Unwanted' Babies, More Deaths: Why India's 'Essential' Abortion Service Isn't Enough
The Coronavirus pandemic will leave 24.55 million couples in India without any access contraceptives, 900,000 unsafe abortions, and a steep increase in pregnancy-related deaths.

Adrija Bose,
April 29, 2020

It took two weeks for a woman living in Bhiwandi in Maharashtra to get to an abortion clinic in South Mumbai after finding out she was pregnant. The journey usually takes about 2-3 hours.

After finding out she was pregnant, the woman got an appointment at the abortion clinic. But by the time she could arrange for a vehicle amid the lockdown, she had already crossed the seven-week limit to get a medical abortion and instead had to undergo a surgical one. "She was one of the lucky ones," a doctor who works at the hospital said.


Abortion in a lockdown: India says ‘yes’ but women wonder how

Abortion in a lockdown: India says 'yes' but women wonder how

Roli Srivastava, Thomson Reuters Foundation
April 16, 2020

MUMBAI, April 16 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - India says it has protected abortion as an essential service in the coronavirus lockdown but experts say women are struggling to get medical help and may resort to risky alternatives or end up with babies they do not want.

With no transport services, limited healthcare and movement restricted, campaigners predict the COVID-19 crisis could push women to take abortion drugs without supervision or seek help from people who lack training.


India: Rape Survivors’ Right to Abortion: Are Doctors Listening?

Rape Survivors’ Right to Abortion: Are Doctors Listening?
By Padma D. and Sangeeta R.
Sep 8, 2017

Recent amendments to the rape laws have made it mandatory for all hospitals to provide immediate treatment to survivors of rape. An abortion is an essential element of such care.

What is the ethical and legal responsibility of doctors when it comes to abortion for pregnant rape survivors? Credit: Reuters

The news of rape survivors, especially children, being denied abortion has been in the public eye for some time. First it was a ten-year-old rape survivor, 28 weeks pregnant, and the second was a 13-year-old child, 26 weeks pregnant, both reaching medical institutions/doctors but being turned away by the medical system owing to the advanced stages of pregnancy. Both appealed to the Supreme Court to seek permission for abortion. The court did not allow an abortion for the ten-year-old child, compelling her to proceed with the pregnancy, while the 13-year-old child has been allowed to terminate the pregnancy.
Continued at source:

“Not a woman’s choice”: India’s abortion limit puts women at risk, say campaigners

"Not a woman's choice": India's abortion limit puts women at risk, say campaigners

Roli Srivastava
September 5, 2017

MUMBAI, Sept 6 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - They didn’t pop open boxes of sweets or send out excited phone messages when their first child was born at public hospital on a rainy Mumbai night in July.

The couple had known from the 24th week of the pregnancy that their child would be born with Arnold Chiari Type II syndrome - a structural defect in the brain.

Since abortions in India are allowed only up to 20 weeks of pregnancy, the couple petitioned India’s Supreme Court to allow them a to terminate the pregnancy, which was by then 27 weeks. The court rejected their plea.

Continued at source: Reuters: