Apropos of the news story “Unsafe abortion continues unabated” (THT, February 11, Page 2), we need to do more to ‘ensure that all women can access the care they need’ as wished by Dr. N.P.KC of family health service. Easy availability of abortion service is credited with bringing down the maternal mortality rate from 580 per 100,000 in 1996 to 190 in 2013. In order to bring down mortality rate to zero, we definitely need to do more. Since unmarried girls as young as 15 years are enjoying abortions in the country, we ought to introduce the facility in schools and colleges besides malls, halls, grocery stores, hotels, restaurants etc lest they drop out of studies as they used to do for lack of toilets and changing facilities. As many countries in the world, including the USA, have tough abortion laws we can even start abortion tourism just as we had surrogate tourism a little while ago. Lawful abortion is available in Nepal only in urban areas and the educated ones are taking advantage of the facility. Most women in rural areas do not know about the legal provision for the abortion of unwanted pregnancy and the period when the abortion is lawful. Abortion is also associated with social stigma that leads women, mostly unmarried ones, in a precarious situation. Abortion itself is not a solution to control birth rate; it is education and counselling at the early stage of life that can make a huge difference.

Manohar Shrestha, Kathmandu

Positive

I must commend PM Pushpa Kamal Dahal for his sensible national and international politics in his second innings as the head of government. He has rightly shown the attitude to work with others and has been trying to move forward through respectful dialogues, discussion and developing conscience on several complex issues plaguing the nation. He must be congratulated in his diplomacy in keeping good relations with the two giant neighbours and has never made repeated mistakes. I am impressed how PM Dahal has changed his high handed attitude from his previous disastrous stint as PM of the nation; and he has shown respect for democracy and the good habit of giving everyone a fair chance to at least voice their concerns on various issues in a democratic forum. He must have realised true administration is a much complex fight than running a mess and fighting in the jungles or engaging in cheap popular politics. The hot seat of PM of the nation carries huge responsibility and needs courage and strong determination to resolve complex economic, socio-cultural and ethnic issues facing Nepal. No one expects that he will be able to resolve every problem the nation faces; but at least I commend his sincere approach and respect for democracy in his second term in the office. My best wishes to him and the people for working towards developing an economically stronger Nepal.

Saikat Kumar Basu, Canada