In India, the right to safe abortion is imperative because the high number of unsafe abortions results in maternal morbidity and mortality and because abortion is misused for sex selection. Unsafe abortion is the cause of 8% of maternal deaths. CHSJ is concerned with these issues and is working to strengthen advocacy efforts to ensure women’s right to abortion in partnership with National Coalition on Safe Abortion (NACSA), Coalition for Maternal Neonatal Health and Safe Abortion (CMNHSA), ASAP, CEHAT and International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF-SARO).
CHSJ prepared a review paper titled, “In the Interests of Equality: An examination of the human rights and ethical dimensions of sex selective abortion in the context of public policy addressing skewed sex ratios” for International Development Research Center (IDRC) in 2010-11. The paper traces the developments on the issue of sex ratio changes and sex selective abortion in different countries as well as the rights discourse around it.
Safe Abortion Advocacy – CHSJ supported CommonHealth: The Coalition for Maternal Neonatal Health and Safe Abortion partners in an advocacy campaign on safe abortion in three districts of Bihar (Muzzafurpur, Nawada and Patna) in 2009-2010. The campaign included mapping abortion services and women’s perceptions of abortion services in the respective areas. The findings of the mapping will be used to inform and educate communities and to advocate with district and state level health authorities.
Safe & Legal Abortion in India - Every Woman’s Right - CHSJ also collaborated with CommonHealth to organize a workshop for media persons called “Safe & Legal Abortion in India: Every Woman’s Right” and to publish a set of four fact sheets on abortion rights in India. Multi-country abortion study with International Planned Parenthood Federation and trainings on access to
safe abortion services – The South Asia Regional Office of IPPF is implementing a Global Abortion Care Project. As a part of this larger project IPPF is conducting a number of studies. In 2008-2009 CHSJ provided technical support in conducting one of these studies which is focused on Provider Attitudes to Abortion and Abortion Services in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Maldives. CHSJ also facilitated trainings on access to safe abortion services.
Developing an Abortion Policy for FPA India – CHSJ provided technical support to FPA India, and assisted them in framing an institutional policy to address the issue of safe abortion in 2006-07. CHSJ collaborated with CMNHSA to organize a ten-day short course on Advocacy for Reproductive Health and Rights in 2006. CHSJ also collaborated with SAHAYOG and HealthWatch Forum to conduct a training on the same issues for organisations working in the Empowered Action Group (EAG) states.