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Supreme Court’s abortion ruling brings focus back on proposed amendments to MTP Act

The Supreme Court's verdict allowing a woman from Mumbai to abort her 24-week pregnancy for abnormality of the fetus that could endanger her life has brought focus back on the proposed amendments to the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, 1971. "The proposed changes to the Act will save such women from going to court and hence, a delay in abortion, mental trauma as well as huge expenses," says Vinoj Manning, Executive Director, Ipas Development Foundation (IDF), an NGO that works on increasing women's access to comprehensive abortion care in India.
January 17, 2017

Source : The Times of India

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Let us remove all doubts: Reproductive rights are essential

Women have been the worst sufferers of Covid-19 due to multiple reasons. The pandemic warrants a reminder that reproductive rights are human rights – they are essential and urgent   It may not be wrong to say that human rights were introduced in India right back in 1950 with the development of the Constitution of our country. The human rights movement has seen rapid progress and success, and many national programs and mechanisms have been introduced to complement the growing recognition of an individual’s rights. Reproductive rights continue to be ambiguous in the Indian context. While the importance of the rights of both men and women to choose and control their own reproductive functions has gained prominence, the introduction of this concept is especially complicated in India given the complex social structures – procreation is often seen as a social expectation and an individual’s rights are overlooked. However, in recent times, reproductive rights in a more comprehensive sense have gained attention. This can, in some way, be attributed to the relentless efforts of civil society organizations that have reinforced the relevance of international treaties into the Indian context. Experts have pointed to how reproductive rights form an integral part of human rights at a broad level and even of our Constitution at a national level, and therefore India’s obligations to them. There is reciprocity between reproductive rights and a larger human rights framework. Just as human rights cannot be realized without promoting women’s reproductive rights, reproductive rights draw their meaning and force from long-recognized human rights. However, the merging of the two in practice remains ambiguous. Indeed, the fact that reproductive rights apply to everyone – irrespective of age and marital status – is a concept difficult to get through to an Indian audience. It is no surprise then that reproductive rights have not been completely established despite being an innate part of every individual. In India, one woman dies every 15 minutes due to lack of healthcare during pregnancy and childbirth. Although the country legalized abortion almost five decades ago, access is extremely limited, and it is estimated that one woman in India dies every three hours due to an unsafe abortion. Despite a national law penalizing marriage of girls below 18 years of age, in practice India continues to account for the highest number of child marriages; and despite policies and schemes guaranteeing women maternal healthcare, India accounts for 20% of all maternal deaths globally. Various states have enacted coercive population policies that exclude families with more than two children from welfare programs, government jobs, political participation, and access to education and health facilities – without guaranteeing couples access to a full range of contraceptive services.
December 10, 2020

Source : The Times of India

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Allow non-allopathists to perform abortions (Vinoj Manning)

Despite abortion being legal in India for almost five decades, every day 10 women die and thousands more face serious and permanent injuries due to unsafe abortions. This is unacceptable. Unsafe abortion is the third largest cause of maternal mortality and accounts for eight per cent of all maternal deaths in India. A recent study conducted jointly by International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS), Population Council, New Delhi, and Guttmacher Institute, New York, estimates that only 22 per cent of the 1.5 crore abortions that occur in India every year take place at a private or public-sector facility and are performed by trained personnel. The shortage of trained providers and concomitant lack of facilities offering safe abortion services are two of the key contributory causes of unsafe abortions. Unfortunately, the one policy action that could address this acute public health crisis is yet to be taken.
February 8, 2019

Source : The Pioneer

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Abortions in city rise 5%, health experts dub it a ‘positive’ trend

In order to strengthen the safe abortion services in the city as well as the state, the health & family welfare department has recently conducted training of its personnel. They will be ensuring that all due medical procedures are followed during the abortion process at different district hospitals and health centres. Authorities informed that the primary objectives of these centres is to provide safe, high quality services including abortion, family planning as well as post abortion counselling. AC Baishya, executive director at the National Health Mission (NHM), informed G Plus that safe abortions were already taking place in all district hospitals; however, the department has now taken additional steps to strengthen the practice.
February 8, 2019

Source : The Times of India

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Health Dept emphasises on Safe Abortions with Focus on Maternal Health

In order to strengthen the safe abortion services in the city as well as the state, the health & family welfare department has recently conducted training of its personnel. They will be ensuring that all due medical procedures are followed during the abortion process at different district hospitals and health centres. Authorities informed that the primary objectives of these centres is to provide safe, high quality services including abortion, family planning as well as post abortion counselling. AC Baishya, executive director at the National Health Mission (NHM), informed G Plus that safe abortions were already taking place in all district hospitals; however, the department has now taken additional steps to strengthen the practice.
February 8, 2019

Source : Guwahati Plus

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Assam: Safe abortion training for medical staff in districts

The state government is in the process of training medical officers and nursing staff on comprehensive abortion care in different districts to ensure women have access to safe abortion by trained medical staff. The state government has set up centers in 23 districts where 65 gynaecologists are engaged in imparting training to medical officers (MBBS doctors) and nursing staff. While doctors are being trained for 12 days, nurses have a shorter training duration of six day. So far, 426 doctors have been trained under this programme. Ipas Development Foundation, a global organization, is providing technical support to the state government in this initiative.
February 8, 2019

Source : The North East

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Statement by Ipas Development Foundation on International Women’s Day

India took the landmark step for legalizing induced abortion in the country with the fairly liberal Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 and placing us among 15 countries around the globe that had a liberal abortion law then. On International Women’s Day, we all need to join hands to make the commitments to women a reality.
March 5, 2018

Source : The Health Star

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73 Per Cent Women In India Take Their Pharmacist’s Help For Abortion: Study

Medical methods using the drugs recommended by the World Health Organization account for four in five abortions in India. Yet, they are not readily available at public health facilities and women have to resort to buying them from a chemist, the report said.   Vinoj Manning, Executive Director IPAS Development Foundation said, "While continuing the efforts to strengthen public and private health system to provide abortion care to women in line with the provisions of the law and national guidelines, we need to ensure that women who self-use MA have access to correct information and systems for supportive care including identifying danger signs, access to health facilities for post-abortion care (if required) and post-abortion contraception."
December 13, 2013

Source : NDTV

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What’s wrong with India’s abortion laws?

The tricky debate on Abortion: Where the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act conflicts with two other laws?   While MTP Act itself does not direct anyone to approach the court for permission to terminate pregnancy post-20 weeks, the recent few years have seen a rush of court petitions seeking permission for abortion. Often these have been either rape survivors with unwanted pregnancies or couples who found out about foetal abnormalities that are either incompatible with survival or posed the risk of substantial handicap to the baby upon birth. The curious aspect is why these cases are suddenly coming to court with increasing frequency only now, despite the fact that the MTP law is unchanged, and issues of foetal abnormalities as well as rape-related unwanted pregnancies in minors are something doctors have always dealt with in professional capacity.   "The cases that have come to the courts and in the spotlight of media are in the direction of foetal abnormalities and rape pregnancies. But that is a very small percentage out of all women deprived of safe abortions," says Vinoj Manning, Executive Director of Delhi based non-profit Ipas Development Foundation.
September 5, 2013

Source : The Indian Express

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AYUSH docs, paramedics may not be allowed to perform abortions

Despite an endorsement from the World Health Organization, the Union government is not likely to go ahead with a key provision in the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2014. The proposed amendment expands the definition of legal abortion providers—to include nurses, auxiliary nurse midwives (ANMs) and doctors practising Ayurveda, Homeopathy, Unani and Siddha—to perform non-surgical abortions in case of pregnancies up to nine weeks.   "This was the most important amendment to the MTP Act and would have helped poor women access safe abortion services. There's a huge shortage of doctors in the country, and this change would have helped plug that gap,” said Vinoj Manning, director, Ipas Development Foundation, an NGO that works for safe abortions.
November 28, 2013

Source : The Week

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