Illegal and unsafe abortions put women’s lives at risk

Kathmandu, February 27

While abortion has been made legal in the country for both married and unmarried women, an increasing number of women are using illegal abortion methods, resulting in death.

“Women have medical abortion without taking advice of a surgeon and end up with a complication in their reproductive health,” said Dr Achala Baidhya, chief gynaecologist at Norvic Hospital.

According to her, one of out of four women, who aborted in the last five years, developed a complication.

Despite many surgical and non-surgical options available at hospitals and clinics, many women go for ‘illegal and unsafe option’ fearing that their family will learn about it, added the doctor.

“An abortion done without the permission of surgeon or specialist can be life-threatening. If it is not performed at registered clinics by trained professionals, there is also high chance of being infected,” said Baidhya.

Data from CREHPA, 2014-15 shows that abortion is the third leading cause of maternal death in Nepal amounting to seven per cent of total maternal deaths.

“The main reason women go for risky options is due to lack of awareness. Many are unaware of where the service is available. They lack basic health education, which is why they don’t know the health risks of infections from abortions.” she said.

“Infection can be caused due to unhygienic equipment used at unregistered clinics. Open distribution of abortion pills has increased the problem by multi-fold,” informed Baidhya.