Discussion on safe abortion to be held


Local chapter of global women’s rights movement, She Decides Nepal, will mark International Safe Abortion Day with an ‘Open House’ event tomorrow to raise awareness on abortion rights.

The event will aim to create a safe space for young people to come together and share knowledge and experiences. Through speaking openly and informatively about abortion-related issues, the movement hopes to help raise awareness on safe abortion.

Despite abortion being legal in the country many women and girls have been deprived of the right to decide on abortion issues. Nepal’s recent Demographic and Health Survey found that only 41 per cent of women aged between 15 and 49 were aware that abortion is legal in Nepal, and only 48 per cent knew a place where a safe abortion service could be obtained. Over half of abortions (58 per cent) were conducted by untrained or unapproved providers. The COVID-19 pandemic has further restricted women’s access to safe abortion and the right to decide. During this time, many women and girls have been unable to use essential sexual and reproductive services, such as contraception, which is resulting in a higher number of unintended pregnancies, adding further strain to an already overstretched system.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on September 30, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.