“There is nothing wrong with Change, if it is in the right Direction”.
Winston Churchill

Over 3500 women die annually in India due to unsafe abortions. To prevent these unnecessary deaths, it’s important to share correct information on abortion and bust some existing myths. Let’s start with busting six of them.

Myth # 1 Abortion is not legal in India!

Fact: Abortion is Legal in India!

Abortions have been legal in India since 1971. Abortion services are governed in our country by Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, which has recently been amendment and is in place as the MTP (Amendment) Act 2021. As per the amendments, abortion is permissible to all women (including unmarried women) on grounds of contraceptive failure up to 20 weeks, while special categories of women (survivors of sexual abuse, minors, victims of rape, incest, differently abled women) can avail services up to 24 weeks. Women/couples can now seek termination of pregnancy, anytime during the gestation period for foetal anomalies, as diagnosed by the medical boards.

Myth # 2 If everyone uses Contraception there will be no need for abortion

Fact: Even if everyone uses Contraception, there will be a need for abortion

Since contraceptives are not 100% effective and each method has an inherent failure rate , even if contraceptives are used correctly by all couples who want to avoid a pregnancy, women will still end up with an unplanned pregnancy. In addition, survivors of sexual abuse/rape and pregnancy affecting the health and life of women would need to terminate a pregnancy. “An estimated 33 million contraceptive users worldwide are expected to experience accidental pregnancy. Some end up in unplanned births and some are terminated by induced abortion” – WHO technical and policy guidance for health providers on Safe Abortion

Myth #3 Abortion is a complex and risky medical procedure!

Fact: Abortion is a safe and simple procedure

Advancement in technology through introduction of manual vacuum aspiration, electric vacuum aspiration and medical abortion has made abortions simpler and safer. As per WHO technical and policy guidance for health providers on Safe Abortion “When performed by skilled providers using correct medical techniques and drugs, under hygienic conditions, induced abortion is a very safe medical procedure”. In fact it’s safer then child birth.

Myth #4 Abortions can affect woman’s future pregnancy!

Fact: Abortions do not affect woman’s future pregnancy

Experts globally believe that women who have had an abortion or more than one abortion by a trained healthcare professional usually do not have fertility issues. Currently there is no evidence to show that abortions can cause infertility.

Myth #5 Your partner/husband/ guardian’s consent is required!

Fact: Only the woman’s consent is required

As per the MTP Act, if the women is above the age of 18 only her consent is required. There is no need for a consent from her partner/husband or guardian. Only in the case of a minor (below the age of 18) a guardian’s consent is required.

Myth #6 All abortions are sex selective

Fact: An overwhelming majority of Abortions are for reasons other than sex selection

A study by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare informs us that only 9% of all the abortions performed in India per year are sex selective in nature. This means that 91% of abortions happen due to various other reasons and are not linked to sex selection. It is estimated that between 85-90% of all abortions in India are first trimester abortions (before 12 weeks gestation). Ultrasound can detect the sex of the foetus only around 13-14 weeks gestation.