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November 9, 2017

The Comprehensive Abortion Care programme is training doctors in abortion laws, medical and surgical abortion procedures, and how to counsel women.

 

A large number of unsafe abortion occur in India every year due to a combination of factors – lack of education of women seeking abortions, stigma surrounding abortion and a shortage of qualified healthcare providers to perform abortions.

 

The Ipas Development Foundation, is helping implement the comprehensive abortion care programme in India. For example, it supports the Karnataka government’s efforts to train doctors and healthcare workers at primary health centres and community health centres in abortion procedures that include medical as well as surgical termination of pregnancy. The programme also includes training on abortion laws and the time-period during which abortion is allowed.

Source: Scroll.in
October 9, 2017

Medical abortion (MA) is a method of termination of early pregnancy using a defined combination of drugs. Recognised as a very safe technology, it is the preferred choice of women across the world. MA was approved by the Drug Controller General of India in 2002 as a Schedule H drug; it is not an over-the-counter medication. However, it is estimated that annually, between 6-8 million women attempt to terminate their pregnancy themselves by sourcing the drugs from chemists without a prescription. Despite abortion being legal in the country and concerted efforts being made by the public health system to improve abortion care, it is worth asking why women take recourse to self-use of MA to terminate an unwanted pregnancy.

By: Vinoj Manning
Source: The Hindu
October 6, 2017

Non-government organizations (NGOs) are the backbone of civil society in India. Increasingly, they are also the choice of people looking for a career in the public sphere. To that end, it is important to rate NGOs in terms of how each one is as a place to work in. Great Place to Work Institute, the global management consulting and research firm, has identified the 10 best non-government organizations (NGOs) in India that offer the best environment to work in.

IDF features in the list of 10 best NGOs to work for in India.

Source: Livemint
October 6, 2017

Founded in India in 2002, Ipas works in 12 demographically poor states across the country including Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Meghalaya and Assam. The foundation trains more than 800 doctors from primary and community health centres every year and certifies them to provide abortion services (abortion law requires doctors to be certified before they can perform such services). “It’s one big family we have here. Every birthday and every festival is celebrated,” says Vinoj Manning, executive director at IDF.

Source: Livemint
October 6, 2017

Vinoj Manning, executive director at IDF believes in an accessible culture to make a workplace healthy for employees. He says, “We are an NGO and we work for people; we do everything through people. Given that, our staff is extremely critical. The importance of staff is paramount and more so in the domain we work in.”

Source: Livemint
October 5, 2017

India is already mired by controversial abortion laws. Add to it, the lack of knowledge and skills required for the procedure, indicating not just a staggering infrastructure, but also the need for reformation in the existing ones. Ironically, abortions are legal in the land for the past 46 years, but almost 60% of the procedures are unsafe. Incidentally, the figure is closer to the countries where abortion is illegal.

A study conducted by WHO, in coordination with Guttmacher Institute, shows that 62 countries with highly restrictive abortion policies have 75% unsafe abortions as compared to 13% in 57 countries that have relaxed abortion regulations.

Ipas Development Foundation executive director Vinoj Manning, speaking to the Times of India, said, "To reverse this, India must take major policy and programmatic action. The government needs to urgently take forward the proposed amendments to the MTP Act." He further added, "Without the expansion of provider base proposed in the amendments, safe abortion will never be a reality for women in rural remote areas of the country."

Source: Asianet
August 21, 2017

An in-depth study undertaken by IDF recently published in The BMC Health Services Research (BioMed Central) journal explored the socio-economic profile of women accessing CAC services at different levels of public health facilities in rural and urban Madhya Pradesh. This study specifically examines 1) if public sector facilities are offering CAC services to women, 2) socio- economic profile of women varied by type of public sector facilities, and 3) if women incurred any out-of-pocket cost (indirect) to access services in terms of transportation, food, clinical examination, and medicines.

Although this study was conducted in Madhya Pradesh, the findings have a national implication on the role of the public health system serving poor women. Mr. Vinoj Manning, Executive Director, IDF said that, “the study reaffirms the importance of our work in the country on strengthening access to CAC services in the public sector as it is the only way to ensure access to safe abortion services for poor women. It also underlines the need for increasing access to CAC services across the country”.

Click here to access the publication

August 8, 2017

Safe abortion services should be made a reality for women in our country

In India, the liberalisation of law to facilitate access to safe abortion services began in 1964, under the aegis of the Shantilal Shah Committee. Doctors frequently came across women who had taken recourse to unsafe abortions, because of legal barriers.

Under the Indian Penal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure, both the woman and the abortionist could be punished, unless the pregnancy posed a grave threat to the life of the woman. After an exhaustive review of national and international evidence, the committee submitted its recommendations in 1966 for legalising abortion.

The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, passed almost five decades ago, put India in the league of 15 other countries to legalise induced abortion for a broad range of conditions. However, even today, unsafe abortion is the third largest cause of maternal mortality in India, leading to the death of 10 women each day and thousands more facing life-long disabilities. In 2017, we are once again at a point when, despite having a liberal abortion law, women face numerous challenges in accessing the same. There is a solution ready before our Parliament in the form of the MTP (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

The government is committed to women’s empowerment and is taking various steps in this direction. The ability to exercise reproductive rights is an integral component of women’s empowerment and we are awaiting the day these amendments make safe abortion services a reality for women in the country.

Source: The Week
July 29, 2017

The pregnancy of a 10-year-old presents a complex and unprecedented situation but laws sensitive to the needs of the women and girls involved could make a world of a difference. The case of the ten-year-old child who is pregnant because of rape is a tragedy. Still recovering from the expenses incurred for an open heart surgery for this little girl, the family is now confronted with the challenges of encountering courts and panels of doctors at tertiary hospitals while coping with the fact that their daughter was raped in their own house and is now pregnant in late third trimester at this young age. We understand that the Government at the national level and from the Union Territory is providing the required legal, financial and medical support to her and her family, which is helpful. However, the personal tragedy for this family cannot be compensated by any external support.

It is unfortunate that in the present case all the attention is focused on the delivery of the foetus and not on the consequences of the child of 10 years carrying a pregnancy for so many more weeks. From studies of teenagers versus adults undergoing childbirth, we know that teens are at higher risk for many problems during pregnancy, including eclampsia, infection, preterm birth, intrauterine growth restriction, and maternal death (Shah 2011; Valenti 2015; WHO 2014).

July 18, 2017
In July 2016, the media in India was flooded with news about a subject most people shy away from - everyone in the country was suddenly talking about women's right to safe abortion services. This year, once again we are having detailed discussions and seeing public analysis on women's bodily autonomy and their access to comprehensive abortion care. In the intervening period, the Supreme Court and high courts have dealt with a series of appeals from young women seeking relief for termination of pregnancies beyond 20 weeks of gestation, both on grounds of rape as well as in cases of diagnosed foetal abnormalities incompatible with life. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has proposed amendments to the MTP Act after extensive consultations initiated way back in 2006, grounded on the principles of women's rights. Eleven years later, we have seen a draft Bill that was reviewed and revised in light of public opinion, which reached a significant milestone when it was submitted to the cabinet for permission to admit it for consideration and passing by the parliament.

A report broke news that the amendments had been sent back to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for better implementation of the MTP and the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Acts. With the amendments on hold, women are compelled to go to the Supreme Court and more shall continue to do so, seeking justice not just for cases of diagnosed foetal abnormalities incompatible with life or rape but also non-availability of safe abortion services in the absence of a law that adequately covers the provisions under which women can have access to safe abortion services. The Supreme Court has directed the government to make the law more meaningful and amend the MTP Act.
Source: The Wire
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