Abortion as a Method for Family Planning ?

October 30, 2009

A report in the ‘Health and Population-Perspectives and Issues’ Journal published by the National Institute of Health and Family Welfare – an apex institute funded by the Central Government’s Ministry of Health- suggests that Medical Termination of Pregnancy may be on the rise.

Medical Termination of Pregnancy or the legal route for abortion – was legalized in India by the MTP Act of 1971 to reduce deaths and health hazards caused to women opting for illegal abortions. But concerns are now rising on whether this provision is being mistaken for an alternative method of family planning.

The report published in the July-September 2008 issue of the Journal which was released only recently  was based on a cross sectional study done between January and December of 2007 at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Dr TMA Pai Hospital, Udupi – a secondary level hospital – one of the biggest in the Udupi town. Only women who had no obvious medical reasons to go in for abortion were selected for the study. The report suggests that majority of them opted for legal abortions either because their previous child was too young or they did not want any more pregnancy.

The report thus raises serious questions about legal abortions on the rise, unfortunately, as a method for limiting and spacing births. High rates of induced abortions – a worldwide concern for medical practitioners- reflects low prevalence of the use and effectiveness of Contraception states the report.

Out of the 97 pregnant women who came to the hospital for legal abortion, 92 were married and vast majority of them were home-makers aged between 21 and 30 well aware of contraceptive methods like Condoms and Oral Contraceptive Pills. Yet, 75 of those 97 did not follow any form of contraception.

The report authored by Drs Parvati Bhat, Ashwini Prabhu, Pratap Kumar and Sreekumaran Nair proposes that this study was an attempt at finding out the contraceptive knowledge, practice and acceptance level among women seeking termination of pregnancy in Southern Karnataka. The report concludes that inspite of the good levels of literacy and awareness in Karnataka, it is surprising to note the levels of women opting for legal abortion. Of the 97 women who underwent abortions, five were aged between 18 and 20. Four of these five were unmarried. The report thus states the concern regarding girls getting sexually active at a young age – and perhaps taking things lightly as they are aware of an established lawful medically safe way out in case they were to fall in trouble.

The report has called for a greater role by healthcare providers in educating and encouraging the public about methods of contraception that are available today. The burning issue of women empowerment may not be mentioned in the report, but a general perception indicates that in the lower socio-economic strata, it is the males who exercise the right to choice of contraception, if any. What is even worrisome is that this report came from just one hospital in one town in the country – not to forget- from among those women who agreed to accept and confront the issue legally through the proper medical way. Needless to say, this may just be the tip of iceberg – this larger complex social issue certainly demands attention of health policy makers and educators in the society.

Divvy Upadhyay - Archives:

Divvy Kant Upadhyay, Udupi - For Daijiworld Media Network
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Comment on this article

  • Jennifer James, Bombay / Dubai

    Sun, Nov 01 2009

    Dear Readers, Abortion is just a matter of minutes that takes to end ones life. But before going into it does one think what is she doing? No life belongs to humans, therefore how a woman can do such a big crime. Today, this kind of situation is growing to a higher degree, especially with unwed teenagers. Abortion is an easy task for such ones.

    Even mutually married couples go in for abortion, but again the question is does this right to kill an unborn belong to us? Precisely It is not our right. Holy Scriptures the BIBLE makes it very clear what is god’s view on ABORTION. Please read Psalms 139:16 He views even an embryo as a distinct person, a living human. True some doctors claim that an unborn child is merely a fetus, or a fetal tissue and not a person. But Jehovah is the creator of every living and non living thing, how can doctor have much knowledge than the creator?

    I agree the world is corrupted, but do not corrupt your minds by taking up this decision, instead train your conscious, train you mind you may gain wisdom, and you may save life. And this can be done by studying God’s word the Bible, wherein you will surely find the hidden treasures of life, you will learn what the creator likes and what he dislikes you can then tune your life according to his will and live a life that pleases him.

    Again I would like to encourage the unwed mothers that while a single parent may not be able to give her child the best materially, she can give him something far more important: love. “Better is a dish of vegetables where there is love than a manger-fed bull and hatred along with it.”—Proverbs 15:17, teach that child about Jehovah may be he or she may not lead a life that you are living.

  • Joilet Lewis, Udyavara/Sharjah

    Sat, Oct 31 2009

    According to the holy scripture, Abortion is really a big crime, Almighty God Jehovah view human life as something precious. children are Gods gift. Abortion is like a murder. Murderers will not inherit Gods kingdom.


    Sat, Oct 31 2009

    Abortion is nothing but a cold blooded murder.It's a horrible crime, still it is legal.Shame on the policy makers and the people who are commiting this crime.

  • mulla akyar, shiruru

    Sat, Oct 31 2009

    Abortion is MURDER. Think before you act ...... pls

  • Ashraf Habibi, GANGULI/DAMMAM

    Sat, Oct 31 2009

    Delaying the pregnency(Family planning)is permissible in Islam provided the method used is safe.. (Majority of scholars opinion) Use of pills & other method causes health problems..The only safe method to delay pregnancy is use of Condoms... To get full pleasure (both men & women)avoiding safe method & resorting to abortion..is not only selfish, irresponsibility & rightfully prohibited..as this amounts to Killing...

  • Zubair, Katipalla

    Sat, Oct 31 2009

    Dear Mr. Kishore Udupi/Dubai it's quite impossible in secular India. People has to decide whether they need child or no but it is imposible to impose on all religions.


    Sat, Oct 31 2009


  • Sourya Prakasha, Permude

    Sat, Oct 31 2009

    Abortion is MURDER. Think before you act !

  • Kishore, Udupi/Dubai

    Sat, Oct 31 2009

    I agree with you all. These is one more reason for the abortion is Family planning system of our Government. The concept of Family Planning should be applicable to all Religions.


    Fri, Oct 30 2009

    Jacintha....I agree with you,,,,a man as well as women feels that using condoms do not give full pleasure and both feel that other contraceptives might affect the womb and future pregnacy,may it is partially true i think though people are educated still they lack full sexual knowledge and making it pleasurable it is not only intercourse but nowadays the young ones are too fast may be they just go to the ultimate act very fast

    A better way of counce-lling is needed ofcourse everyone say that we know everything that's not true actually , they should be made to understand the importance of motherhood and becoming father will not affect their sex life thereafter, responcibily increases and they may not enjoy, elders interference and advise is very much required by finding out whether their daughter or daughter in law is pregnant and they should make them understand... actually the children will grow as we grow and life also becomes enjoyable after a certain period... so I Would advise all the young ones to have child as soon as possible I present myself as an example even after 13 years of marraige we still enjoy and have fun love each other so even you can make it too.

    Do not go with modern attitudes learn to take life the way it comes and blessed by god..because god has forbidden abortions so be little cautious during the those 10 days....Doctors pls tell such patients about all these to your cleints before deciding...do not count evrything with money..u need to save life..

  • christ, banglore

    Fri, Oct 30 2009

    This is a biggest sin and there is no excuse for it....god will never forgive....men or women u did mistake and u have to suffer. if u suffer means god will bless in diffrent way. so plz remember god word before commiting any unexcusable work..

  • Eric Coelho, Mangalore

    Fri, Oct 30 2009

    Making Love is a sacred experience. Religion describes love in a sacred way but the human mind has become such that they want to make love in a hurry to finish their job faster resulting a mistake that leads to abortion. Such Love amounts to guilt in heart and evil in mind. Love is so beautiful that it is such a tremendous gift of nature. Man's sex is limited only to his Genitalia but woman's treats her whole body as sacred which gets eroded after her first night of sex. Gods creation of woman is a Gift to man which the man has dominated for his own Selfish Physical needs that a woman later on has to suffer. Today man and woman inspite of being equal the blame goes to a woman. It is time that both man and woman learn to share their love in a sacred way which will result in physical satisfaction without any harm to the woman's body.

  • shahnawaz kukkikatte, dubai/udupi

    Fri, Oct 30 2009

    Abortions outside medical necessity is nothing but murder of ones own off spring. Family planning is better than abortion. Islam allows family planning and is against abortion. In Quran God has just given a hint "On that day, unborn babies will ask, for what crime of theirs they are killed?". Practice safe sex and avoid pregnancy. Its shocking and sorry to know that legally married couples who are sorting to this type of practices. No doubt God is angry with us for human intereference in His Laws. More calamities and destruction is at store for us if we dont stop our own destruction..


    Fri, Oct 30 2009

    It is a horrible crime to kill babies in the mother’s womb. Mother’s womb is supposed to be the safest place for the baby. However, it ends up as a murder in the hands of abortionist. We know that the life of the baby starts from the day of conception. History tells us that it is the work of Satan. It happened many times before in mass. Pharaoh of Egypt tried to kill all the Israelite children during Moses’ birth, Herod king of Israel killed all the children under the age of three, and Kansa killed children to avoid the birth of Krishna. Now we have the modern feminists doing the same. This has to end.

  • Jacintha, Mangalore

    Fri, Oct 30 2009

    During interactions with well employed women(supposedly empowered), who resort to abortion, it has emerged that - Men do not get TOTAL PLEASURE/SATISFACTION if they use condom. Women fear the after-effects of contraceptive pills, hence they practice 'safe sex'. Men, who are so particular about SATISFACTION, are particular about fulfilling their desire too, anytime, 'safe sex' can wait. Hence we have so many middle class and upper middle class families resorting to Abortion. This leaves a scar on the woman's psyche, no one knows. The doctors, who are clinically trained, do not do any emotional curing, nor some counselling to the erring men. More abortions, more business!

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