Many Nepali women deprived of reproductive rights

  • The law guarantees women exclusive right to decide whether or not to have an abortion

Kathmandu, May 1

Sabita (name changed) has had four abortions. Her husband believed that it was not the right time to have children and pressured her to get the abortions. She said that her husband refuses to use contraceptives.

Both Sabita and her husband want children now, but have not been able to conceive.

Sabita said that her husband and her in-laws blame her for this, and have been torturing her mentally. “My husband has started neglecting me, blaming me for the abortions, and for the resulting infertility, when in fact he always made all the decisions,” she said.

The abortion law in Nepal grants women exclusive right to decide whether or not to have an abortion. Women’s partners or spouses do not have any right in this regard.

However, very few women in Nepal have the environment to exercise reproductive rights granted by the law.

Gynaecologist Archana Amatya said that multiple abortions can cause complications in women and problems with fertility. She said that thousands of women in Nepal have little or no say in matters of reproductive health, and most women who come for abortions are pressured there by their husbands.