About 56 million abortions worldwide are unsafe

12:20 pm Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India, Social Health Community
  • ·Make abortions safer by creating large-scale awareness on pills and medical procedures
  • Improving access to safer public healthcare also imperative

New Delhi, 21st March 2018: About half of the estimated 56 million abortions carried out worldwide each year are unsafe, leading to the deaths of at least 22,800 women every year, according to the most comprehensive study report on global abortion trends in a decade from the Guttmacher Institute.

Banning abortions does not stop women from getting a pregnancy terminated but does increase the risk of them resorting to dangerous measures to end unwanted pregnancies.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Immediate Past National President Indian Medical Association (IMA), said, “One of the major reasons for the high rate of abortions could be the lack of access to good contraception in many regions, resulting in high rates of unplanned pregnancy. Then there is the question of abortion pills. Abortion pills can be effective and safe when administered correctly. However, many women may not have the right information of how to use them properly, which can be fatal to their health too. Only a certain percentage of women may have access to medication abortions. This makes it imperative to provide the others with accurate information on how to use these pills and access to quality healthcare in case of any complications.”

Adding further, Dr Anita Kant Senior Gynecologist at Faridabad said, “Education and awareness on contraceptives and abortions go. Assessing the situation, the need of the hour is to make safe abortion a reality and available across the country. It is also important to ensure that women from all strata of society have access to the right information.”

Abortion is a highly restricted process in India. The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act (1971), permits abortions before 12 weeks of pregnancy by a registered medical practitioner or before 20 weeks of pregnancy with the approval of two registered medical practitioners, but only if the mother or child’s mental or physical health is in danger.

Termination of pregnancy can be done surgically or medically. The concern is about the second, medical abortions, which is done by taking pills that are either orally ingested or vaginally inserted. While there is a need to improve facilities in public healthcare facilities for safer abortions, awareness programmes can prevent many women from getting into complications through incorrect use of medications.

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