Lancet abortion study, not a representative of the country govt informs Lok Sabha

Around 22 per cent or 3.4 million abortions were done in public health facilities. But 11.5 million or 73 per cent were medication abortions done outside health facilities and 0.8 million were conducted by informal providers

Lancet abortion study, not a representative of the country govt informs Lok Sabha

The Lancet figures reported:

  • India reported around 1.56 crore abortions in 2015, reports the study published in The Lancet.
  • Close to half, or 48%, of pregnancies were unintended and 0.8 million women used unsafe methods for an abortion, putting their health and lives at risk.
  • Using abortion pills was the most popular method, which made up 12.7 million or 81% of all abortions, followed by 2.2 million surgical terminations of pregnancy.

A report published in Lancet Global Health Medical Journal mentions about 1.56 crore abortions took place across India in 2015. The study is based on a sample of six states and is not representative of the country.

The Government provides safe and comprehensive abortion care (CAC) services to women in health facilities. There are various reasons for unsafe abortions like confidentiality, stigma, need for anonymity, provider bias, self-medication etc. Disaggregated data on various methods of abortion is unavailable.

The Minister of State (Health and Family Welfare), Ashwini Kumar Choubey stated this in a written reply in the Lok Sabha here today

All efforts have been made to provide CAC services in health facilities. Provision of comprehensive safe abortion care services is an important component of RMNCH+A program under Government of India.

National Health Mission (NHM) provides support to the states for provision of services for comprehensive abortion in the following ways:

  • Guidelines on Comprehensive Abortion care services and Medical Methods of Abortions (MMA) have been provided to all the States in the country to facilitate the implementation of these services
  • Provision of comprehensive safe abortion services at public health facilities including 24*7 PHCs/ FRUs (DHs/ SDHs /CHCs).
  • Provision of funds to States/ UTs for operationalisation of safe abortion services at health facilities including procurement of equipment and drugs for medical abortion.
  • Capacity Building of Medical officers in Safe Abortion Techniques and of ANMs, ASHAs and other field level functionaries to provide confidential counselling for safe abortion and promote post-abortion care including adoption of contraception.
  • Certification of private and NGO sector facilities to provide quality Comprehensive abortion care services.
  • Supply of Nischay Pregnancy detection kits to sub centres for early detection of pregnancy.
  • Provision of Funds to States to plan and implement comprehensive “Information Education & Communication/ Behaviour Change Communication (IEC/BCC)” activities for maternal health including safe abortion care.
  • Orientation/Training of ASHAs to equip them with skills to create awareness on Comprehensive abortion care issues in women in the community and facilitate women in accessing services.
  • Under the Family Planning programme for post abortion cases, steps have been taken to increase the basket of choices of contraceptive services and family planning counselling services to the beneficiaries.