In India, one woman dies every two hours due to abortion-related complications. Statistics show that unsafe abortions contribute to 8 per cent of all maternal deaths.
A media discussion held with Population First and Ipas India, both non-government organisations (NGO) dedicated to ending preventable deaths and disabilities from unsafe abortions, revealed that one woman dies every two hours due to lack of trained paramedical personnel and facilities providing abortion services.
Vinoj Manning, country director of Ipas India said, “It is estimated that 6.4 million abortions take place in India every year and almost 3.6 million (half of those) are unsafe and performed in unhygienic conditions by untrained providers.”
More than 8 per cent of women in India still do not know that abortion is legal with some conditions. “Abortion should be performed by a medical practitioner. It should be done in a place approved under Medical Termination of Pregancy (MTP) Act. Gestation period and consent and opinion of registered medical practitioners are other conditions for legal abortion. Abortion can be done up to 20 weeks of pregnancy,” added Manning.
AL Sharada, director of Population First and Medha Gandhi, Advisor (policy) of Ipas India were present for the discussion.
“Currently, the MTP Act is being amended and it is the right time to focus on this issue to get proper abortion facilities,” said Sharada.