India – 1.6 Crore Abortions Happen Every Year, Yet We Don’t Talk About Them. How Can That Change?

By Ipas Development Foundation in Gender and Sexuality, Sexual Health, Taboos
17th October, 2020
Co-authored by Shivi Sukhija and Parul

Societal norms and cultures affect all of us and often take over our decision making powers and capabilities. One commonly occurring, but rarely discussed, instance is when a woman has an unintended pregnancy. Any woman in such a scenario, whether married or unmarried, will have two options available with her – to continue the pregnancy or to consider various options available for its termination or abortion.

The decision should be hers and Indian law also permits termination of pregnancy under a broad range of conditions. But a complicated journey begins when she decides to terminate the pregnancy and due to societal concerns and taboos attached with abortion, she herself or her partner are unable to discuss their thoughts and feelings with peers and families. As a result, in an effort to hide the unintended pregnancy and their decision to terminate it, the woman and her partner end up seeking unsafe abortion services.


Why COVID-19 Must Not Constrain Access to Abortion in India

Why COVID-19 Must Not Constrain Access to Abortion in India
During the pandemic, India must ensure that access to critical women’s health facilities remain unimpeded.

By Tarini Mehta
June 24, 2020

Some things cannot be stopped and started as we please, not even if a highly contagious virus demands it. A case in point is development through the different stages of pregnancy. The Indian government did declare safe abortion an essential health service on April 14, when the country was still under a COVID-19 lockdown. It brought some relief to a few women who urgently required those facilities. But things are not that simple.

According to a report by the IPAS Development Foundation, a non-profit organization that works to manage unwanted pregnancies in India, 73 percent of abortions that take place in India annually are done via medical abortion (MA) drugs that are accessed outside of facilities. Private health facilities take care of 16 percent of cases, while public health facilities cover another 6 percent. The remaining 5 percent are conducted through traditional methods that are considered unsafe. These include, but are not limited to, the usage of sticks, roots, and herbal medicines.


India – Abortion is legal but coloured by prejudice: Malayalam short film ‘Aval’ shows you how

Abortion is legal but coloured by prejudice: Malayalam short film ‘Aval’ shows you how
The film is produced and co-written by a medical professional who says she has seen these violations happening for years.

Flix Cinema Monday, June 15, 2020 - 17:30
Sowmya Rajendran

Although India has fairly liberal laws when it comes to abortion, medical professionals are often hostile to women who approach them to get the procedure done. In cinema, too, abortion has been equated to murder far too many times. With the glorification of pregnancy and motherhood, this important reproductive right which gives women autonomy over their own bodies is demonised repeatedly.

A Malayalam short film called Aval, directed by Adarsh Kumar Aniyal (of Raven fame) and released on YouTube recently, presents the bitter truth about the issue. In the film, a young woman in an abusive marriage who did not want to keep her pregnancy, develops postpartum depression and ends up killing her child. Interestingly, the film has been produced and co-written by a medical professional, Dr Veena JS.


India – Whether You Are Pro Life Or Pro Choice, Morality Should Not Form The Basis Of Your Argumen

Whether You Are Pro Life Or Pro Choice, Morality Should Not Form The Basis Of Your Argument

Monika Rahar in Health and Life, Sexual Health, Women Empowerment
May 20, 2019

The 21st century is a century of transition; the more science is getting involved in the everyday life of an individual the more it is ending up confronting the social and moral narratives controlling individual choices. Law and society are two sides of the same coin. Demand or need of the latter necessitates the formulation of the former and implementation of the former defines or decides the nature of the latter. A change in one is resonated by a corresponding change in the other. India is one of the nations which has taken a progressive stand by Legalising abortion and passing the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 (the MTP Act). This act recognised the right of a woman to undergo an abortion if her case falls under any of the categories specified u/s 3 of this act.

This article will address the issue of ‘abortion’ and will look into its meaning, legality, types in medical sciences, the processes employed to procure it and physical and mental implications. More importantly, it will address the question ‘how far will conservative forces go in an attempt to impose ‘morality’ on a changing society?‘


India – More awareness needed on safe abortion methods

More awareness needed on safe abortion methods
A large number of women are unaware of their rights to abortion

Pooja Biraia Jaiswal
April 10, 2019

According to data disclosed by the Delhi health department in a recent RTI reply, only one in ten abortions in the city are reported, while over 50,000 termination of pregnancies have taken place in the last five years. This is essentially due to a lack of data on the number of maternal deaths resulting from abortions. Although abortion is legal in India and is regulated under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, the lack of awareness about it and the stigma attached to it, have led a number of women resort to unsafe and non-medical methods of abortions which prove to be fatal and life threatening. A woman can safely terminate her pregnancy upto 20 weeks of gestation under the supervision and guidance of one or two medical practitioners and for those who want to terminate it beyond 20 weeks, must seek approval from the courts.


Let’s Talk About The Long Overdue Reforms Needed In The Abortion Laws Of India

Let’s Talk About The Long Overdue Reforms Needed In The Abortion Laws Of India

By Nyaaya
November 22, 2018
Posted by Malavika Rajkumar

A 35-year-old pregnant rape victim discovers that she is HIV positive in her 17th week of pregnancy. She approaches a government shelter, an approved place to conduct an abortion, but is denied the abortion. They demand parental and spousal consent, even though under the law, a woman above the age of 18, does not need such consent.

She approaches the High Court only to have the High Court deny the request. She’s 26 weeks pregnant by the time the case reaches the Supreme Court which recognises the improper treatment she has been subject to, but ultimately denies the abortion because under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, she had crossed the 20 week limit for abortion.


Barbados: Why do politicians still force women through unwanted pregnancies?

Why do politicians still force women through unwanted pregnancies?
Dame Billie Miller

I helped Barbados legalise abortion and the number of women dying from unsafe terminations plunged. Countless lives depend on more countries following suit

Thursday 28 September 2017

When I entered parliament in 1976 as the only female member, I took a stand and managed to do what many countries have failed to do, or are threatening to undo: decriminalise abortion.

Recently, President Michelle Bachelet of Chile succeeded in advancing legislation that made abortion legal under certain circumstances. Chile’s new law is only a first step in providing full access to safe abortion care, but it is a momentous change that required the vision of a strong, outspoken, female leader who took a stand on saving women’s lives.

Continued at source:

Mumbai: No prescription required, abortion pills at doorstep

Mumbai: No prescription required, abortion pills at doorstep
By Rupsa Chakraborty | Mumbai | Posted 02-Jun-2017

With this line, online agencies hawk pregnancy termination pills, often to women unaware of the danger of using medication without expert help. mid-day puts itself out there as a desperate customer

An unplanned pregnancy can be terrifying, particularly for single, underage girls afraid of the backlash from their parents and society. This is the fear that online stores are exploiting, by offering abortion pills without prescriptions.

Continued at source: Mid-Day:

India: Miscarriage of rights

Miscarriage of rights
by Payel Majumdar
Feb 3, 2017

Donald Trump’s cutback on abortion care funding exposes the many pre-existing faultlines in India’s own laws on reproductive healthcare

On his first day in office, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order repealing federal aid to NGOs that either performed or facilitated abortions in any form around the world. After eight years of progressive reproductive legislation reforms under the Barack Obama administration, this new order hits the developing world hard. Ronald Reagan had first put in place the controversial ‘Mexico City policy’ in 1984 and it was only in 2009 that Obama rescinded it. While there was no direct funding for abortions even during the Obama years, it did take care of access to contraceptives and post-abortive care. Trump’s decision effectively cuts off reproductive healthcare services to developing countries, including India and its neighbours, which receive a good part of the aid. The Netherlands has stepped in and promised $10 million to fill the federal funding hole, but this still leaves a shortage of $600 million for the next four years.

Continued at link
Source, The Hindu Business Line: