849 unmarried women underwent abortion in Nagpur in last 2.5 years: NMC data

Consumption of contraceptives sans prescription key factor behind MTP: Dr Sarla Lad

Nagpur: A total of 849 unmarried women have gone through abortion between March 2020 and August 2022, the data procured by Nagpur Today revealed. According to the Health Department of Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC), a total 28,452 women have gone through Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) between March 2020 and August this year. Out of which, 849 were unmarried, the data mentioned, while the main reason being consumptions of contraceptives sans prescription.

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Between March 2020 and March 2021, a total of 10,899 women underwent MTP (496 Govt+NMC and 10,403 Pvt+NGO). Out of which 280 (22 Govt+NMC and 258 Pvt+NGO) were unmarried, while 10,619 (474 Govt+NMC and 10,619 Pvt+NGO) were married. No widow had abortion in this period, the data suggested.

In the period from March 2021-March 2022, a total of 12,130 (650 Govt+NMC and 11,480 Pvt+NGO) women faced MTP. Among which 368(23 Govt+NMC and 345 Pvt+NGO) were unmarried and 11,762 (627 Govt+NMC and 11,135 Pvt+NGO) were married. Again, no widow had gone through abortion this year.

Between April 2022 and August 2022 this year, 5,423 women (307 Govt+NMC) and 5,116 Pvt+NGO) underwent MTP. 201 (12 Govt+NMC and 189 Pvt+NGO) of which were unmarried while 5,220 (294 Govt+NMC and 4,926 Pvt+NGO) were married. One widow also faced MTP this year.

Speaking to Nagpur Today, Dr Sarla Lad, PCPNDT and MTP Nodal Officer informed that the consumption of contraceptives sans prescription is the key factor behind MTP.

“We’ve zeroed in on unauthorized consumption of contraceptives as the main cause behind MTP among women. Women tend to consume contraceptives without a valid prescription from the Gynaecologists,” Dr Lad said and urged that, “One should always contact doctors, during pregnancy, before taking any medication.”

Notably, in a land mark judgment, the Supreme Court (SC) on September 29, ruled that all women whether married or unmarried are entitled to safe and legal abortion till 24 weeks of pregnancy.

In its order, SC stated, “marital status of a woman can’t be ground to deprive her right to abort unwanted pregnancy. Single & unmarried women have right to abort under Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act and rules till 24 weeks of pregnancy.”Distinction between married and unmarried women under abortion laws is artificial, constitutionally unsustainable, SC said.

A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud, JB Pardiwala and AS Bopanna delivered the verdict on the interpretation of the MTP Act, and whether unmarried or single women can be allowed like their married counterparts the benefit of abortion up to 24 weeks.

Shubham Nagdeve

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