By Maya Palit
Just last month, Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH), a California-based research group, found that misinformation about abortion is pervasive in the news and popular culture. Nothing we didn’t already know. In India it is legal under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act to get an abortion up until 20 weeks of the pregnancy, but the battle to try and ensure that women get access to safe abortion services and care after the abortion is one that is still raging.
Which is where the Delhi-based feminist organisation CREA is trying to chip in. It has started a campaign called #AbortTheStigma, which disseminates information about reliable gynaecologists, and has put together a crowd-sourced list of where people can go to get safe abortions in Delhi and Chandigarh.
It also does some myth-bashing of popular misconceptions — the anxiety that abortions necessarily make you infertile, for instance. Amongst the things it addresses are the differences between medical and surgical abortions, and the fact that you don’t need parental or spousal consent to get an abortion if you are an adult. (Things might work differently in practice, and recently a Supreme Court judge was surprised by the fact that a hospital in Patna demanded the husband’s consent for a 35-year-old rape victim planning to have an abortion).
Here is one of CREA’s short videos about abortion stigma, and more articles, resources, and graphics can be found on their website.