Sexuality Policy Watch

The Lancet: Can India transition from informal abortion provision to safe and formal services?

The past three decades brought important developments to the area of women’s access to abortion, especially with the advent of medical abortion methods. However, the rate of unsafe abortion worldwide remained unchanged between 1995 and 2008.1 Although abortion was legalised in India in 1972, several barriers continue to prevent women from accessing safe abortion services, especially in rural areas. They include skewed distribution of urban and rural abortion facilities, high costs, and provider barriers including denial of choice between medical and surgical methods and insistence on husband’s consent.

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