Lack of awareness and access to quality healthcare are two major causes for unsafe abortions in India
Sensitizing women in rural areas about the use of contraceptives and safe delivery is the need of the hour
Some of the leading causes of unsafe abortions include poverty, gaps in health services, and teen pregnancy. Abortions are also mostly undertaken by unskilled persons in unregistered places. The need of the hour is large-scale awareness and better regulation of the healthcare sector to provide quality services to all, including contraceptives, safe delivery and abortions.
Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, "One of the major reasons for the high rate of abortions in India is the lack of access to knowledge about contraception. This results in high rates of unplanned pregnancy. Apart from this, abortion pills can be effective and safe when administered correctly. However, many women may not have the right information on how to use them properly, which can prove fatal to their health over time. Only a certain percentage of women may have access to abortions using medication. This makes it imperative to provide the others with accurate information on how to use abortion pills and give them access to quality healthcare in case of any complications."
An estimated 800,000 women in India undergo unsafe abortions through the traditional methods to abort the unwanted fetus. Some of them also go to untrained pharmacists, chemists and informal vendors for the process, indicates the study.
Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, "Education and awareness on contraceptives and abortions go hand in hand. Assessing the situation, the need of the hour is to make safe abortion a reality and available across the country. Pregnancy can be terminated surgically or medically. The concern is around medical abortions, done through pills that are either orally or vaginally inserted. While there is a need to improve facilities in public healthcare for safer abortions, awareness programmes can prevent many women from getting into complications through incorrect use of medications."
Abortion is a highly restricted process in India. The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act (1971), permits abortions before 12 weeks of pregnancy by a registered medical practitioner or before 20 weeks of pregnancy with the approval of two registered medical practitioners, but only if the mother or child's mental or physical health is in danger.
About Heart Care Foundation of India
Initiated in 1986, the Heart Care Foundation of India is a leading National NGO working in the field of creating mass health awareness among people from all walks of life and providing solutions for India's everyday healthcare needs. The NGO uses consumer-based entertainment modules to impart health education and increase awareness amongst people. A leading example of this is the Perfect Health Mela; an annual event started in 1993 that is attended by over 2-3 lakh people each year. The Mela showcases activities across categories such as health education seminars and check-ups, entertainment programs, lifestyle exhibitions, lectures, workshops, and competitions. In addition to this, the NGO conducts programs and camps to train people on the technique of hands only CPR through its CPR 10 mantra for revival after a sudden cardiac arrest. They currently hold three Limca book of world records for the maximum number of people trained in hands-only CPR in one go. Keeping article 21 of the Indian Constitution in mind, which guarantees a person Right to Life, Heart Care Foundation of India has also recently initiated a project called the Sameer Malik Heart Care Foundation Fund to ensure that no one dies of a heart disease just because they cannot afford treatment.
For more information, please contact
Heart Care Foundation of India
Dr K K Aggarwal