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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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56% Abortions Unsafe Despite Being Legal; Proposed Amendments On Hold

Niketa Mehta was in the 24th week of her pregnancy when a test revealed substantial abnormalities in the foetus' heart that posed a risk to its survival. Mehta decided to abort, but found herself restrained by the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, Mehta's obstetrician sought judicial authorisation but the court refused.   This was in 2008. Nine years since, in July this year, the Supreme Court allowed a woman to abort an over-20 week foetus which had serious cardiac impairments. The courts have clearly come a long way, reflecting a broader change in society, but a legislative amendment to increase the gestation limit for abortion from 20 to 24 weeks has been hanging fire for three years. The 2014 draft bill proposes to allow abortion for up to 24 weeks' gestation in rape cases, and to allow AYUSH (Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, Homoeopathy) doctors, auxiliary nurse midwives (ANMs) and nurses to conduct abortions.   The amendment also proposes to remove the gestation limit altogether in case a foetus displays specified abnormalities. This would include cases where the "abnormalities would be incompatible with life", said Vinoj Manning, executive director of Ipas Development Foundation (IDF), a New Delhi-based organisation that provides comprehensive abortion care (CAC) services across 10 states.
November 22, 2017

Source : India Spend

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Government doctors are being trained to help women in India get safe and legal abortions

The Comprehensive Abortion Care programme is training doctors in abortion laws, medical and surgical abortion procedures, and how to counsel women.   A large number of unsafe abortion occur in India every year due to a combination of factors – lack of education of women seeking abortions, stigma surrounding abortion and a shortage of qualified healthcare providers to perform abortions.   The Ipas Development Foundation, is helping implement the comprehensive abortion care programme in India. For example, it supports the Karnataka government’s efforts to train doctors and healthcare workers at primary health centres and community health centres in abortion procedures that include medical as well as surgical termination of pregnancy. The programme also includes training on abortion laws and the time-period during which abortion is allowed.
November 9, 2017

Source : Scroll.in

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Unfulfilled commitment

The landmark Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act of 1971 legalised abortion in India at a time when it was legal in only 15 countries across the world. By bringing out this Act, the government made a commitment to make abortions available, safe and confidential to the women of our country. While the Act does not lay down abortion as a woman’s right, it includes “failure of contraception” (in addition to medical and socioeconomic reasons) as a valid indication for availing an abortion, making the choice fairly universal up to 20 weeks of pregnancy. There have been significant transformations in the technological and public health landscape for improving access to safe abortion services in line with the original vision. As a way forward, there are at least two big areas that need to be worked upon to improve the care-seeking pattern for abortion. First is the need to provide an environment for women to openly talk about their abortion needs. Second, the need to increase availability of CAC services. A big step towards this will be the passage of the suggested amendments to the current MTP Act.
May 12, 2017

Source : Deccan Herald

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Self-managing abortions safely

Medical abortion (MA) is a method of termination of early pregnancy using a defined combination of drugs. Recognised as a very safe technology, it is the preferred choice of women across the world. MA was approved by the Drug Controller General of India in 2002 as a Schedule H drug; it is not an over-the-counter medication. However, it is estimated that annually, between 6-8 million women attempt to terminate their pregnancy themselves by sourcing the drugs from chemists without a prescription. Despite abortion being legal in the country and concerted efforts being made by the public health system to improve abortion care, it is worth asking why women take recourse to self-use of MA to terminate an unwanted pregnancy.
October 9, 2017

Source : The Hindu

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You invest in employees and buy their loyalty, says Vinoj Manning

Vinoj Manning, executive director at IDF believes in an accessible culture to make a workplace healthy for employees. He says, “We are an NGO and we work for people; we do everything through people. Given that, our staff is extremely critical. The importance of staff is paramount and more so in the domain we work in."
October 6, 2017

Source : Livemint

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Ipas ensures healthy workplace environment through surveys

Founded in India in 2002, Ipas works in 12 demographically poor states across the country including Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Meghalaya and Assam. The foundation trains more than 800 doctors from primary and community health centres every year and certifies them to provide abortion services (abortion law requires doctors to be certified before they can perform such services). “It’s one big family we have here. Every birthday and every festival is celebrated,” says Vinoj Manning, executive director at IDF.
October 6, 2017

Source : Livemint

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NGOs fast emerging as great employers

Non-government organizations (NGOs) are the backbone of civil society in India. Increasingly, they are also the choice of people looking for a career in the public sphere. To that end, it is important to rate NGOs in terms of how each one is as a place to work in. Great Place to Work Institute, the global management consulting and research firm, has identified the 10 best non-government organizations (NGOs) in India that offer the best environment to work in. IDF features in the list of 10 best NGOs to work for in India.
October 6, 2017

Source : Livemint

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Legal, but unsafe abortions kill 2 women every hour in India

India is already mired by controversial abortion laws. Add to it, the lack of knowledge and skills required for the procedure, indicating not just a staggering infrastructure, but also the need for reformation in the existing ones. Ironically, abortions are legal in the land for the past 46 years, but almost 60% of the procedures are unsafe. Incidentally, the figure is closer to the countries where abortion is illegal. A study conducted by WHO, in coordination with Guttmacher Institute, shows that 62 countries with highly restrictive abortion policies have 75% unsafe abortions as compared to 13% in 57 countries that have relaxed abortion regulations. Ipas Development Foundation executive director Vinoj Manning, speaking to the Times of India, said, "To reverse this, India must take major policy and programmatic action. The government needs to urgently take forward the proposed amendments to the MTP Act." He further added, "Without the expansion of provider base proposed in the amendments, safe abortion will never be a reality for women in rural remote areas of the country."
October 5, 2017

Source : Asianet

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