According to a study published in medical journal Lancet, 60 per cent of abortions in India are unsafe. The study was conducted by WHO and Guttmacher Institute.

It shows that 62 countries with restrictive abortion laws have 75 per cent of all the unsafe abortions in the world. Thirteen per cent of unsafe abortions happen in the 57 countries where legal abortion is readily available. However, in India, even though abortion is legal, the number of unsafe abortions is at such a high number.

According to experts, there are more unsafe abortions in India because of poor awareness and stigma. There is also lack of access to proper facilities

The government has proposed expanding the abortion provider base by including trained healthcare workers, midwives and Ayush doctors.

About 55.7 million abortions which occurred each year worldwide between 2010 and 2014. Of these, 30.6 million were safe. 25.1 million abortions were unsafe and 97 per cent of these abortions are taking place in the developing countries.

“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. 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,” Ipas Development Foundation executive director Vinoj Manning said.

Sushila Singh of the Guttmacher Institute says that the average unsafe abortions in south central Asia was as high as 58 per cent.

In India, abortion is only permitted for a woman who is less than 20 weeks pregnant. Exceptions to the 20-week ceiling are only made if the pregnancy is a threat to the mother and baby’s life. Courts have to give their approval for abortions beyond the time-frame.

Many gynaecologists have said that the 20-week time-frame is too narrow. That’s because some genetic abnormalities in the foetus may manifest only after this time period. The limit should be extended to 24 weeks, say many doctors.

Also Read: Half Of World’s Abortions Are Unsafe: WHO

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