While studies on the prevalence and trends of unsafe abortions in India is limited, the health minister added that there is no direct evidence on the proportion of abortion conducted under these conditions.
NHFS 4 states, as much as 47 per cent of the abortion are conducted by Nurse or ANM, or LHV, Dai, family members, and self, while the rest 53 per cent abortions are performed by a doctor.
While replying to the question on what measures were taken to reduce unsafe abortions, the minister stated, National Health Mission (NHM) provides support to the states for the provision of Comprehensive Abortion Care (CAC) throughout the country.
The minister further mentioned measures like the establishment of Model CAC Centres across states to demonstrate quality in CAC training and service delivery is being implemented, supply of Nischay Pregnancy detection kits to sub-centres for early detection of pregnancy and capacity Building of Medical Officers (MOs) in Safe Abortion Techniques and of ANMs, ASHAs to facilitate awareness generation and counselling.
Dr Archana Patil, Director at Health and Family Welfare, Pune, said, “Majority of the unsafe abortion practices are from rural areas. We are improving our primary health centres so that people are encouraged to go there. Also, there is a need to make people aware of family planning options. We are also providing contraceptives at cheaper rates.”
Dr Ramesh Bhosale, a senior gynaecologist from Sassoon General Hospital, said, “Regularly, cases related to complication post unsafe abortions come to us. When abortion is legal in India, a lot needs to be done to create an infrastructure to make these facilities available for rural and economically weaker sections of society.”