According to an information report from Bangalore Medical College (BMC), 34 women have died from abortions in India in the last three years. Specifically, the botched abortions took place between 2004 and 2011; and doctors reported that these deaths likely occurred because of unchecked use of abortion pills, post abortion complications, frequent abortions and aborting a child after the twentieth week of pregnancy, which is illegal.
Dr. Sonal Kunta, a senior gynecologist from Fortis Hospital in Mulund, said, “In less than seven weeks of the first trimester the patient can undergo abortion with the use of pills but that has to be used after performing certain tests. If the pregnancy is intra-uterine the use of pills can lead to major complications which women don’t realize.”
She added, “It is done through suction evacuation before 12 weeks of pregnancy and through surgical procedure after three months but only after careful examinations.” However, later she said that these procedures too could result in complications like perforation and excess bleeding which has to be taken care of immediately by a physician.
The news report explained that many of the women who’ve died from abortions were between the ages of 15-19. Additionally, some of them were undergoing sex-selection abortions, which is also illegal.
The information has been furnished by RTI activist Chetan Kothari on the abortion deaths in the city along with its recent death for the last ten years. However, the data produced by the joint executive health officer Dr Shridhar Kubal does not mention clearly the reasons of deaths caused by abortion.
The report also states that most deaths have taken place in Ward-E that comprises of Chinchpokli and Byculla. The report also states that majority of abortion deaths have taken place among Hindu women followed by Muslims. Nandita Shah, co-director of Akshara, an NGO working for women’s rights said that many women die of frequent abortions.
“Many women in the city are still going for sex selective abortions after undergoing sex determination tests of the foetus which are illegal but is still prevalent in many places,” said Ms Shah. Speaking about the figures that show higher number of Hindu women dying of abortions than any other religion Ms Shah said that ‘daughter aversion’ is still widespread in the community. According to doctors, there are three different procedures of abortion during the three trimesters of pregnancy that patients generally ignore and that can lead to death.