Bengaluru: Unsafe abortions are the third leading cause of maternal mortality in the country. Abortions are legal in women above the age of 18.
As many as 56% of abortions in India are unsafe and 8.5% of all maternal deaths are due to unsafe abortions. Ten women die every day because of this reason, according to an IndiaSpend report.
A major source of such abortions is pill-induced, which the experts say must be monitored to protect women’s health.
“Abortion through such unsafe pills can lead to sepsis which can lead to tissue damage, organ failure and death,” said Dr Hema, gynaecologist, Sankar Hospital.
She said it is important for patients to know what treatment they are being administered. “We receive young patients from the city sometimes who are stressed and in a hurry to go through the abortion. They don't want to think it through. But it's important to not rush such issues and take informed decisions," said Dr Hema.
Dr Sylvia Karpagam, a public health doctor and researcher from Bengaluru, said, “Pill-induced abortions are highly unregulated in India and can lead to complications such as incomplete abortions leading to bleeding and sepsis. Women may then require surgery and emergency care. Giving pills in the case of ectopic pregnancies can lead to fatal outcomes.”
She said that there is very little data from the private health sector on the number of patients being pills for abortion. “The rampant use of pills points to poor awareness about contraception, particularly among teenagers. It also reveals how abortion services are inaccessible and expensive. Even those who use pills are often ill-informed about the timing, dosage and frequency,” she said.