INDIA – Three stories of doctors trying to withhold or discourage safe abortion

When women who approach doctors are denied abortion, they are forced to find a safe abortion some other way. The result? Unsafe abortion is the third leading cause of maternal mortality in India. For her first termination of pregnancy, Aishwarya (not her name) had gone to a gynaecologist, but was denied by the one she saw, a woman. The doctor appeared to referred her to a colleague, who turned out to be an IVF specialist. … Continued

INDIA – Bombay High Court exhibits incompetence in understanding clinical and psychological issues in two rulings on abortion requests after 20 weeks: where is the government?

Under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, abortion beyond 20 weeks of pregnancy can be done only with permission from a high court. In Mumbai in late December, a 14-year-old rape victim approached the Bombay High Court seeking permission to terminate a 22-week pregnancy. A so-called vacation bench ruled the girl had to be medically examined by a team of expert doctors at the JJ Hospital. The advice they asked for, and should already have … Continued

INDIA – 75% of abortions take place without the support or involvement of health facilities

  More than 75% of the 15.6 million abortions in India annually are estimated to take place without the support or involvement of health facilities and about 5-7% of abortions that take place outside licensed facilities are carried out using methods that may be dangerous. One doctor reports that use of “insertion of sticks and roots, ingestion of herbal medicines, abortifacient drugs, abdominal massage and incomplete D&Cs in unhygienic conditions” to cause abortions still happens … Continued

INDIA & USA – Women’s Human Rights and Migration: Sex-Selective Abortion Laws in the United States and India

“Some of the most hotly contested international women’s rights issues today arise from the movement of peoples from one country to another and the practices they purportedly bring with them. In Women’s Human Rights and Migration, Sital Kalantry focuses on immigrants of Asian descent living in the United States who are believed to abort female fetuses because they do not want a female child. While sex-selective abortion is a human rights concern in India, should we, … Continued

INDIA – Courts and medical reports are not the answer

According to an article in the Lancet of December 2015, 15.6 million abortions occurred in India, of which 73% were sought outside health facilities, despite India having a very liberal abortion law. In 2017, in what was considered a landmark judgment, the Supreme Court of India ruled that individual privacy is a “guaranteed fundamental right” as part of the right to life and liberty guaranteed in Article 21 of the Constitution. This judgment should have … Continued

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