India – ‘I am not Neena Gupta, ma’am’: How access to abortion may not ensure acceptance

Sreemoyee Piu Kundu
October 30, 2022

I run a community for urban, single women, the only one of its kind in a country where despite 74.1 million single women who constitute 39% of its female population, our highest ever population of singles – there is widespread social, financial, legal and cultural discrimination against those who do not conform to the conservatively conditioned, gender script that bestows marriage and motherhood with a glorified halo and social security that protects and preserves and promotes patriarchy.

Just two weeks ago and on the heels of the progressive Supreme Court ruling which stated that all women, including, those not married and persons, except cis-gender women, possessed equal rights to abortion – a community member from a tier-one-metro reached out to me with a problem that I do not find unusual anymore.


India abortion ruling applauded but safety fears, taboos persist

Court allows term limit of 24 weeks for all, recognizes marital rape as valid reason

KIRAN SHARMA, Nikkei staff writer
October 7, 2022

NEW DELHI -- A recent abortion ruling by India's top court is being hailed by women's advocates as a progressive step amid a global debate on reproductive rights, though some stress the country must do more to confront sensitive issues including a social stigma that perpetuates unsafe procedures.

The apex court at the end of September ruled
that all women have equal rights to abortion up to 24 weeks into pregnancy.
Although legislation was already in place, this set an important precedent for
how it should be implemented.


When People Don’t Say ‘Abortion’: How News Media Shapes Public Perception

Representation in the media can make or break the fight for safe abortions. Here’s how to do it right.

28 Sep 2022

“Where I am from, people don’t even say the word 'abortion'," says Meenakshi Saxena, who works with the Foundation for Reproductive Health Services India. She goes on to explain how instead they use 'MTP' as a verb.

MTP refers to the celebrated Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, the law that protects abortion rights in India.


In India, abortion access remains a pipedream for many

SEPTEMBER 11, 2022
Fateh Guram, Aafreen Khan

India's Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Act, 2021 guarantees access to safe and legal abortion services. The reality on the ground is much different.

Sunita is an
Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) from Katlupur village in the north Indian state of Haryana. As an ASHA worker, Sunita helps women in rural India access healthcare facilities and, among other services, abortion.


India’s abortion law still lacks a rights-based approach, gynecologist says

India's abortion law is progressive, but it is also problematic, says Dr. Suchitra Dalvie, a practicing gynecologist in Mumbai, India. The co-founder and coordinator of the Asia Safe Abortion Partnership unpacked the law and recent amendments to it with The World's reporter Chhavi Sachdev.

May 12, 2022
By Chhavi Sachdev

In India, abortion has been legal — within certain confines — for more than 50 years.

India's abortion law is progressive, but it is also problematic, says Dr. Suchitra Dalvie, a practicing gynecologist in Mumbai, India.


Telemedicine services for improving safe abortion accessibility in India: Need of the hour

February 12, 2022
Debanjana Choudhuri, gender and climate justice specialist.

The spread of novel coronavirus has convulsed every aspect of life all over the world. With life coming to a standstill due to repeated lockdowns, the pandemic has exposed the vulnerability of not only our society, but also of our healthcare system. India is one of the nations, which has been severely impacted due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Crucial measures, such as imposition of lockdowns, were taken to contain the spread of the virus, however, the decreased mobility also resulted in higher incidences of intimate partner violence, changes in migrant living patterns, delay in accessing other healthcare services including contraceptive and safe abortion care and potential changes to decisions about parenting.

Contrariwise, telemedicine was a silver-lining during this period, and it revolutionised access to healthcare services worldwide. India too acknowledged the credibility and viability of these services by introducing telemedicine guidelines. Today, from covid tests to other screenings telemedicine in India, is flourishing each day in every sphere. But is it the same for safe abortion services? Sadly, the answer is NO! Although India recognised the essentiality of contraception and safe abortion services, the telemedicine guidelines reflected otherwise, as it still does not include abortion under its purview.


Time To Let Go Of Stigma: How Far Has India Come In Accepting Abortion?

Ratika Rana
11 Feb 2022

Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Day is celebrated on February 12 every year, and it aims to raise awareness about sexual and reproductive health issues and reduce the spread of sexually transmitted infections.

Women in India have always been at the receiving end of several social, cultural, institutional and operational challenges in all spectrums. Even after more than five decades of implementing the Maternity Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act in 1971, a woman's right to terminate a pregnancy, or abort her child, remains a debatable and taboo issue. More than 15.6 million abortions happen in India, and many of them are unsafe, thus putting a woman's life at risk.


India – Medical Abortion Pills: The Paradox Among Chemists

Feb 6, 2022

‘Girls just want to have FUNdamental rights.’

We have come a long way concerning women’s rights, yet there is a long way to go. Women’s rights are not just inclusive of abolishing gender pay gap, equal opportunities in the workspace and freedom from discrimination. The umbrella term also shelters health management.

Women empowerment cannot progress without access to reproductive control and health. At this point, enters the boiling topic of Abortion. Whether you are pro-choice or pro-life, it is a fact that abortion is a healthcare need. India, as a developing country, recognised the need for reproductive justice for women close to forty-eight years back, when abortion was legalised. However, a different tone of this concept has unveiled recently that limits women’s right to reproductive health.


Unsafe abortions is a critical reproductive health issue in India that needs attention : Debanjana Choudhuri

Pratigya Campaign is focusing on addressing the serious issue of gender-biased sex selection while protecting women’s right to safe and legal abortion services in India.

Written by Shardul Nautiyal
January 17, 2022

In India, the conversation on abortion is riddled by social stigma, lack of registered MTP providers and lack of awareness on laws.

Pratigya Campaign has attempted to bridge the gap by populating a database of approved Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) providers so that pregnant women can connect to a verified provider. Since its inception in late 2020, the database of Pratigya Campaign has been accessed by over 2,000 people.


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.