Abortion Facts Every Woman Should Know

Written by Mitha Shameer
Last Updated on

There could be many reasons why women choose to get an abortion. It could be because of timing, financial constraints, partner-related issues, or because they are not ready for it emotionally. But still, abortion is a word women refuse to utter. It is kept hush-hush because we aren’t given the right to choose what to do with our bodies. Because if you do talk about it and support the right to terminate a pregnancy- you will be called a murderer!

Even today, in this day and age, women have to fight for the right to abortion. Why is abortion considered such a sin? If it was an unplanned pregnancy, do you think the child would be better off growing in an environment which is not loving or nurturing? Don’t you think women have the right to choose what to do with their bodies? Forcing a woman to continue her pregnancy and deal with all the physical and emotional trauma that comes with it when she clearly didn’t want to do it in the first place- is that legal? Does that sound right to you?

What The Law In Our Country States

Abortion has been legal in India since the passage of the act in 1971. Surprising, isn’t it? It’s pretty amazing that our country was the first to legalize abortion beyond just conditions that prove to be fatal. In India, abortion is legalized only under certain circumstances and until 20 weeks after conception. Of course, when we compare our abortion laws to Latin American and other countries, India seems progressed and much better off in this regard. But is it that easy to get an abortion in our country?

What The Law In Our Country States
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A large number of women in our country don’t feel like they have the right to exercise this right.

You are not the sole decider on whether you want to terminate your pregnancy.

Women in our country still don’t have the right to choose as they need to get it signed off by a doctor if you are within 12 weeks. And make it two doctors if you are anywhere between 12-20 weeks. We cannot assume that the health care provider would do what’s in our best interest unlike everything else when it comes to the A-word. Also, the stigma associated with having an abortion comes at a steep price (literally). Doctors charge four-five times the actual fee to get one done in many cases. Even after being legalized, many women hesitate to get an abortion as they have to fight a battle to get one done. And if you are an unmarried woman, it’s even harder to get one done in our country.

Abortion Can Be Carried Out In Two Ways

Abortion Can Be Carried Out In Two Ways
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Abortion can be done in two ways: medical abortion and surgical abortion. Medical abortion is done by using medications to terminate the pregnancy. It is a simple procedure that does not require any anesthesia or surgery. It is also safe and most effective if you are in your first trimester (1).

You might have an idea of what surgical abortion is about. If you are in your second trimester, medical abortions are no longer an option for you. You might have to terminate your pregnancy surgically. There are several types of surgical procedures for abortion- dilation and curettage, dilation and evacuation and induced abortion (which is rare), induction abortion, and dilation and extraction (2).

The plethora of laws on a woman’s body does not make any sense legal or even healthwise as women will continue to seek unsafe options which will only lead to more deaths. Recently, the Governor of Alabama signed the most aggressive law against abortion in American history. If enacted, it would permit abortions only in cases where there is a life-threatening risk to mother or child. Women who are victims of rape or incest will not have a right to terminate their pregnancy under the law. It’s jarring to think that women have zero control over their own bodies. They are criminalized for deciding what to do with their bodies. There are a lot of orphaned children on this planet who are already living and breathing but don’t have food or shelter. Shouldn’t we be focusing more on them instead of coming up with laws that’ll only add on to them, in an unhappy manner at that?

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