Nearly 22,800 deaths are reported due to unsafe medical abortions every year. In about 56 million abortions worldwide, nearly half of them are very unsafe, according to a Guttmacher Institute study.
Banning abortion does not stop women from getting a pregnancy terminated but does increase the risk of them resorting to dangerous measures to end unwanted pregnancies.
"One of the major reasons for the high rate of abortions could be the lack of access to good contraception in many regions, resulting in high rates of unplanned pregnancy. Then there is the question of abortion pills. Abortion pills can be effective and safe when administered correctly. However, many women may not have the right information of how to use them properly, which can be fatal to their health too. Only a certain percentage of women may have access to medical abortions. This makes it imperative to provide the others with accurate information on how to use these pills and access to quality healthcare in case of any complications." said Dr. K.K Aggarwal, Padma Shri Awardee.
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.
Termination of pregnancy can be done surgically or medically. The concern is about the second, medical abortions, which is done by taking pills that are either orally ingested or vaginally inserted.
While there is a need to improve facilities in public healthcare facilities for safer abortions, awareness programmes can prevent many women from getting into complications through incorrect use of medications.