National

Makwanpur: 18pc women abort babies last fiscal

- PRATAP BISTA, HETAUDA

Oct 28, 2018-

Almost 18 percent of the pregnant women in Makwanpur district underwent abortion in the last fiscal year, according to the District Public Health Office (DPHO).

Around 2,062 of the 11,649 pregnant women in the district were found aborting their foetus, and the number could be even higher as many undergo abortion illegally, an official at the DPHO said.

In Makwanpur, 15 government health institutions and various social organisations, including Family Planning Association of Nepal, Marie Stopes and Sunaulo Bhabishya Nepal, are authorised to provide the service.

In 2002, Nepal legalised abortion at facilities registered with the Health Ministry. However, the government expanded the service extensively following the Supreme Court’s order in 2009 to make abortion accessible to all women.

As per the existing legal provision, women can abort upto 12 weeks in their pregnancy on request, 18 weeks in their pregnancy in cases of rape or incest, and at any time if the pregnancy poses a risk to the woman’s life or if there is a foetal abnormality.

However, a large number of people use the service as a means of family planning. According to health workers, most of the abortion cases are of teenage pregnancy and extramarital affairs.

But an official at the DPHO said many women undergo unsafe abortion in the district. Women get the service from unauthorised institutions in fear of social stigma. Lack of trained health workers in the district is another reason behind unsafe abortion, the official said.

Published: 28-10-2018 08:20

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