A noticeable number of women received safe abortion services in the district in less than the past three months.The District Health Office (DPHO), Terhathum had started free and safe abortion services at the District Hospital, two primary centers and 11 health posts in April. It is said 233 women underwent abortions through safe methods since the lunching of services in the hilly district of Province 1.
Side by side, public awareness programs on the safe abortion are going on in the district. An organization called ‘Abhiyan for Prosperous Tehrathum’ has been conducting Sexual and Reproductive Rights Strengthening Project. The project presently covers Basantapur, Solma, Aambung and Morahang.
Earlier on the occasion of International Women’s Day on March 8, women rights activists and stakeholders concerned here announced to bring down unsafe abortion to a zero-level by the upcoming two years.
DPHO chief Dr Mukti Narayan Shah said unsafe abortion must be stopped as it puts women’s lives at risk.
Public awareness on the use of means of family planning, on sexual and reproductive health rights and negative consequences of unsafe abortion has been majorly focused in the district.
District Women Rights Forum chairwoman Ingwa Subba says “Women have their own problems, they fear of family and society to abort unwanted and unintended pregnancy and availability of safe and free abortion services in a confidential atmosphere have provided a room for ending a pregnancy in a comfort way.”
However, District Hospital’s Dr Rohit Kumar Jha said the number of population using contraceptives is very less in the district and availability of free and safe abortions services have prompted unsafe sexual relations. He underlined the need of making people aware about negative impact of unsafe intercourse.
Safe and free abortions services are available in 14 health facilities in the district.
(Safe) abortion was legalized in Nepal in 2002 and it must be done by trained doctors or health workers at approved health facilities. Abortion up to 12 weeks is available on her request while in some cases such as rape and incest, termination of pregnancy up to 18 weeks is granted by the law. It is permissible at any time if the pregnancy poses danger to the life or physical or mental health of the woman or the fetus is seriously deformed and it is recommended by a doctor.