CommonHealth is a coalition of 110 institutions and individuals—including health care providers, researchers, nongovernmental advocates, human rights lawyers, grassroots activists, and public sector program managers—that advocates for better access and higher quality maternal and neonatal health and safe abortion services.
Even though abortion is legal in almost all countries to save a woman's life and in three-fifths of countries to protect her physical and mental health, safe abortion services are often not provided by public health systems or are of poor quality.
Since 1971 abortion has been permitted in India for a broad variety of reasons. Throughout the country, women who can afford health care in private hospitals have fairly good access to sexual and reproductive health care services, including abortion. But in rural and poverty-stricken areas, where people rely on public health care facilities called Primary Health Centers, access is more limited, to devastating effect. In India, rates for maternal mortality are highest among poor rural women. India has the largest number of deaths from unsafe abortions in the world.
IWHC’s latest video features Rajesh Chaturvedi who works with the organization Gramin Punarnirman Sansthan (GPS) in Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state in India. GPS is a member of CommonHealth, one of our partners in India. Over the last few years, GPS has focused on advocacy around obtaining better reproductive health care services in the Azamgarh District of Uttar Pradesh. On a program visit to India, IWHC’s then-Program Officer Khushbu Srivastava met Rajesh. He was generous enough to tell her this very personal true story about the insufficiency of the health care system in India in dealing with abortion.
In the 21st century there is no reason for a woman to die or suffer the traumas of an unsafe abortion. Access to safe abortion is about more than policy – communities and those who provide them with health care must be committed to achieving true access.
For more information, check out the following resources:
Abortion With Self-Administered Misoprostol: A Guide For Women
Promoting Women’s Access to Safe Abortion: Tools For Advocates
Access to Safe Abortion is a Human Right
A full transcript of the video is after the jump.
Abortion in India was legalized in 1971, but many people, especially in rural areas, do not know that abortion is legal. India has the largest number of deaths from unsafe abortions in the world. CommonHealth, an IWHC partner, is a network in India that advocates for maternal health, including access to safe abortion. In this…
At Sundari Ravindran’s request, we have deleted the first two sentences of the last paragraph in this post and edited the third paragraph. Her explanation of the need for the deletion is at the end of the post. We apologize for misconstruing Sundari’s words, and commend CommonHealth for the efforts they’ve made to promote campaigns…
In India abortion is legally available during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy in a variety of cases: when there is risk to the mother’s life, physical or mental health; rape or fetal abnormality; as well as social or economic reasons. India has had legal abortion for about the same length of time the United…
Audacia Ray, Online Communications and Campaigns Program Officer at IWHC, is traveling in India for two weeks with Asia Program Officer Khushbu Srivastava. During the trip, Audacia and Khushbu will visit our partners in the region, document their work, and provide training and technical assistance, among other things. Here we bring you the second of…