India legalized abortion way back in 1971 under five parameters when the pregnancy could risk the life of the woman, can cause harm to the mental health of the woman, contraceptive failure, or when the woman has been physically violated or raped, or when the would be born child has physical or mental health abnormalities. It is permitted by law up to 20 weeks of gestation.
Despite this being legal and facilities available across India, the morbidity and mortality due to unsafe abortions has remained a challenge in India. There are various reasons for women seeking abortion which are unsafe and illegal, such as easy access to, no knowledge of its availability etc. Then there are some underlying factors such as gender based violence and other social reasons.
The role of public health care system for women during and after abortion is crucial. FPA India has been at the forefront of providing quality SRH services including abortion. Pre and post abortion care is provided to all women seeking abortion. Increasing access to safe abortion services is being provided at all 39 state branches. In five clinics, second trimester abortion services are also being provided.
Ten branches Bhubaneswar, Bijapur, Dharwad, Hyderabad, Mysore, North Kanara, Panchkula, Raichur, Shimoga, Yamunanagar were given special assistance to augment uptake of abortion services especially, medical abortion. Branches conducted regular meetings with private medical practitioners, chemists and skilled birth attendants.
Global Comprehensive Abortion Care Initiative
The Global Comprehensive Abortion Care initiative is being carried out at 15 FPA India clinics across 12 Branches with the aim to increase accessibility of comprehensive safe abortion related services
A Review meeting was conducted for the Branch Managers and Programme Officers to review the activity of the branches but also re-orient the role of the Clinic Secretary and other staff in the project on revised format for collection of necessary service statistics. Participants from Pune, Kolkata, Jabalpur, Gwalior, Lucknow and Mumbai Branches participated in the Review Meeting.
Effective communication was achieved through media such as television, advertisement and FM radio broadcast in Mumbai, Pune, Nagaland, Kolkata, Murhu and Lucknow. A total of 64,914 people were reached through rallies, FGD, exhibitions and cultural events. Of these, 54 per cent of persons were reached through door to door communication through link workers and ASHA workers.
FPA India implemented new strategies to convey the messages regarding safe abortion such as Nukkad Natak, film shows & exhibitions, folk media like 'Gondhal' based on good and bad aspect of safe and unsafe abortion with special reference to Solapur Branch. Apart from that, FPA India also adopted other strategies like massive publicity through extensive FM Radio Campaign at Lucknow, Gwalior, Jabalpur, Pune, and Murhu.
Dissemination of the findings of the Knowledge, Attitude and Practice study in poster form titled "Varied perceptions on safe abortion: Comparative study in urban slum and rural clinic settings in India" and oral presentation made on "Male Involvement in Accessing Safe Abortion Services by the Woman: Experiences from Jharkhand, India".