Act fast, and smart
If the need for abortion has arisen, then it should be availed as soon as possible. But, going forward, it has to be followed up with contraception.
Moreover, if unprotected sex or contraception failure has happened, the woman should take an emergency contraceptive within 72 hours of such sexual activity. This has an effectiveness rate of 75-80%. Or, the other and even better option, is to get a copper T within five days of having sex. This has a 99% chance of being effective and preventing pregnancy.
Most importantly, I’d say that abortion is not a substitute for regular contraception. Men should take responsibility for the outcome of the sexual engagement. And women, if you don’t have contraception at hand, you should be empowered to say no.
Dr. Alka Dhal
Go by the book
If the abortion-seeking person and/ or couple are adults, they can legally avail the service. It should be ensured that you take the service from centres and medical practitioners who are authorised to provide MTP (Medical Termination of Pregnancy).
Taking medicines from pharmacies to induce abortion yourself can have serious consequences like infections that can even lead to death. Always use safe contraceptives so that the need for abortion does not arise.
Dr. Rakhi Gupta
Not my way
I have been practicing since 1981, and to date, have not provided any abortion services as a personal choice. So, I hardly have anything to say, but that, you must ensure precaution. Abortion, beyond moral and religious complexities, can be unhealthy to the body.
Plus, there’s one thing. Many a time, doctors trouble young people by refusing abortion or by asking them to bring their parents. There is no such legal requirement. Legally, the only condition is that the individuals seeking the service should be adults.
Dr. A Nanavati (name changed on request)
This video below - On accessing safe and legal abortions: From a gynaecologist’s point of view
Don’t be shy
Don’t be shy, health is wealth. Don’t go to a medical shop and take oral abortion pills yourself because I have seen young women suffer badly. Take the proper course of action suggested by the doctor.
Dr. Soni Anand
It’s on the doctor
When young, unmarried couples come to avail abortion, they fear being ridiculed. I feel it’s the doctor’s responsibility to make them feel comfortable. It’s happened, go to a professional doctor.
Also, if it’s happened once, it’s okay. But, going forward, they should receive guidance from the doctor about contraception and choices rather than doing things in an unscientific manner. Because health decisions have an impact on your entire life.
Dr. Bandana Sodhi
Safety in every way
There should be nothing to feel awkward about in visiting a gynae. It is very important to have a safe abortion, as much as it is important to have a safe delivery. The safest procedure based on ultrasound and other tests should be taken. Future obstetric health is dependent on safe abortion, one must remember.
Dr. Nivedita Raizada
The side-effects of choice
It is always better to use contraception than to go for termination of pregnancy as it increases the risk of tubal block or infertility later in life. This is an insight from a purely medical point of view.
For abortion: seek a professional opinion. Self-administering of over-the-counter pills is not a good idea because they contain a high dose of estrogen. The risks of this dosage are cerebral attacks and irregular periods. So, these should be taken under medical cover.
One form of contraception is not enough because each has its failure rate. For example, oral contraception should be combined with usage of condom. And in any situation, the condom must be used since it also works to prevent a host of sexually transmitted infections.
Dr. Urvashi Prasad Jha
*To protect the identity, some names have been changed and the person/s in the picture is/are models.
To mark September 28, the Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion, Love Matters calls on partners, family members, friends, colleagues, doctors to support women’s absolute right to make decisions about their bodies, including abortion. Please support our campaign here.