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.


US court strikes down right to abortion; what’s the scene in India?

Indian law permits abortion up to 20 weeks of pregnancy and up to 24 weeks in special cases. However, unsafe abortions are the third leading cause of maternal mortality in India, and close to eight women die from causes related to unsafe abortions every day, according to a UN agency report

JUNE 28, 2022

On June 24, 2022, the United States Supreme Court overturned its landmark 1973 judgment in the Roe Vs Wade case that had made abortion a constitutional right in the country.

The decision, which led to a furore, is slated to have a major impact on the lives of American women, with possibly a near-total ban on abortion in roughly half of the country’s 50 states.


India – Child Marriages, Unplanned Pregnancies And Unsafe Abortions Still High In Rajasthan, Warns Expert

Nearly 15 of every 1,000 adolescent girls in Rajasthan aged undergo induced abortions annually, 60% of these abortions are 'unsafe', reveals an NGO.

Longjam Dineshwori
November 3, 2021

Women with unwanted pregnancies often resort to unsafe abortion when they do not have access to safe abortion. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 50% of all abortions worldwide are unsafe, and almost all of these unsafe abortions take place in developing countries. Unsafe abortions are a critical reproductive-health issue in the Indian state of Rajasthan, said Divya Santhanam, Senior State Program Manager, Population Foundation of India.

Based on data from a recent study, the NGO noted that 35% of women aged 20-24 years in Rajasthan reported getting married before 18 years of age, which is quite high compared to the national average of 26%. Nearly 15 of every 1,000 girls in Rajasthan in the age group 15-19 years undergo induced abortions annually. Only 40 percent of these abortions occur with assistance from healthcare providers, indicating that the rest 60 percent of the abortions in the age group are 'unsafe' and without any trained assistance, the NGO highlighted in a press release.


How India’s Healthcare System Treated Women During Pandemic

In one critical segment of healthcare—population services—India failed women almost completely.

Rashme Sehgal
21 Aug 2020

The fate of 30-year old Neelam, who died in the eight month of pregnancy because of lack of proper medical facilities sums up the fate of a large number of women during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite being in her final trimester and unwell, she failed to get admitted in even one of eight hospitals whose doors her family knocked at in NOIDA, Uttar Pradesh.

Her husband and brother took the unwell woman to eight hospitals in one day but were refused admission, allegedly on grounds that each of them was already overburdened with patients.


India – A human health project

A human health project
Empowering women to make reproductive choices and opt for quality family planning services can help India not only address the fertility challenge but fulfill the ICPD pledge

Friday, 12 July 2019
Swapna Majumdar

Ever since 1989, July 11 is observed as the World Population Day to draw attention to issues surrounding human population. The urgent need to provide an enabling environment to facilitate women’s autonomy in reproductive decisions was underlined five years later in 1994 at the Cairo International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). Here, for the first time, an international agreement, recognising the right to sexual and reproductive health, was signed by 179 countries, including India.

Twenty five years have passed since the historic ICPD Programme of Action. Although India has taken several measures to provide universal access to reproductive health services, including contraceptives, has it really delivered on its promise to give women the right to choose when, if and how many children to have?


Youth Friendly Sexual & Reproductive Health Services a Must! Data shows 14 million Indian girls marry before 18 years

Youth Friendly Sexual & Reproductive Health Services a Must! Data shows 14 million Indian girls marry before 18 years

Updated: March 24, 2019
By Vandana Chavan, Member of Parliament

A 2015 UNESCO report on “Emerging Evidence, Lessons and Practice in Comprehensive Sexuality Education” (CSE) suggests that CSE has far-reaching benefits for SRH, particularly in reducing STI’s and unintended pregnancies.

India, with the second largest population in the world of 1.3 billion, is also home to the world’s largest adolescent and youth at 365 million. Over 50 per cent of the country’s population is under the age of 25. An analysis of the United Nations World Population Prospects 2017 by Bloomberg revealed that by 2027, India with its current increase in the proportion of working age people, also known as the demographic dividend, will have the largest workforce in the world.


Women’s bodies are under attack: The alarming reality of reproductive rights in India and the US

Women’s bodies are under attack: The alarming reality of reproductive rights in India and the US

Written by Sophie Cousins
September 12, 2017 Quartz india

Outside, the mid-morning heat is stifling. It’s not humid like the bustling metropolises of Mumbai or Kolkata; here in New Delhi, it’s a dry heat, the type of heat that exhausts you, made worse by a thick layer of dust which sticks to your face and stings your eyes.

At the maternity ward inside the hospital at Jamia Hamdard University, all the metal gurneys are taken, some with sheets, some without.