ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Safe Abortion as a Women's Right

A study conducted among law enforcement officials in seven countries across Asia by the Asia Safe Abortion Partnership to measure the level of knowledge, attitude and awareness of women’s rights as well as safe and legal abortion shows lack of understanding about the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act and the subsequent amendments. Many lawyers believe that even if it did become a regular component of the law curriculum, there would be few takers, given the low potential for such cases in the practice. In the current environment, where the issue of implementation of the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act tends to wrongly overshadow discussions on safe abortion and the MTP Act, these views are important as they affect the way safe abortion is perceived as a women’s right and have an impact on restriction or liberalisation of women’s access to safe abortion services.

Medical Abortion in India: Role of Chemists and Providers

Medical abortion, approved in India in 2002, is emerging as an alternative to surgical procedure for terminating early pregnancy and offers a window of opportunity to expand women's access to safe and effective abortion. A study undertaken of chemists and providers points to some of the challenges such as limited awareness of the appropriate regimen, protocol and likely side effects, the cost to clients, resistance of providers of surgical abortion and the need for adequate backup facilities. All these have to be addressed in order to make medical abortion available widely.

Quality of Abortion Care: Perspectives of Clients and Providers in Jharkhand

This paper explores the quality of care received by women seeking abortion services in Jharkhand, a state in which access is limited and evidence about abortion-related care sparse. It explores clients' perspectives of the quality of services as well as their experiences of seeking abortion care. It also discusses perceptions of abortion providers on the quality of care.

Delaying the First Pregnancy: A Survey in Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Bangladesh

Childbearing in adolescence, a common practice in south Asia, can adversely affect the health of both mother and child. This qualitative study was conducted in three sites in India and Bangladesh where low birth weight is prevalent to explore the ability of newly-weds to negotiate the timing of their first pregnancy. The pattern in each site generally reflected prevailing social views on contraception, childbearing and couple communication.

Care and Support of Unmarried Adolescent Girls in Rajasthan

Adolescent girls have considerable unmet needs in health, reproductive health, and nutrition. A survey in Rajasthan sought to ascertain the extent to which unmarried adolescent girls receive care and support from their parents. Study findings suggest that a majority of them received a high or medium level of care. There was no clear pattern by socio-economic status. In a context where gender discrimination is rife, some families, regardless of their economic circumstances, do seem to provide nutrition, health, and psychosocial care for their adolescent daughters.

Caring Men?

Analysis of a survey area in Maharashtra shows that a majority of husbands were knowledgeable about prenatal, delivery and postnatal care. Men were often excluded from participating in routine care because the medical system does not accommodate them and the community considers maternal care as exclusively women's domain. Young, newly married women experience pregnancy and childbearing in an environment where they have little or no autonomy in decision-making, finances or mobility to seek care. Thus, it may be crucial to get husbands involved, since they are often the decision-makers, the ones who have to accompany the young woman to a clinic and the ones who pay for care.
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