First National Safe Abortion Day

First National Safe Abortion Day was celebrated on 26th September, 2015 in presence of Honorable Health and Population Minister Khagaraj Adhikari as a Chief quest followed by the Director of Planning Division Mr. Mahendra Shrestha, Director of Family Health Division Dr. Pushpa Chaudhary and Reproductive Health Consultant Obs/Gyn Dr. Shilu Aryal. The program highlighted the abortion scenario in Nepal where Honorable Minister of Health and Population Khagaraj Adhikari conveyed his gratitude towards the first national safe abortion day by expressing that the legalizing abortion was the only way to make the abortion services safe and real option. Thus, legalization of safe abortion in Nepal in 2002 has gradually paved its way in the development sector of our nation. 

Many non-profit organizations participated in the program which included Sunaulo Parivar Nepal implementing partner of Marie Stopes International, Ipas, FPAN, psi, Youth Action Nepal and many more. Dr. Pushpa Chaudhary informed about the current status of abortion in Nepal. According to her 25% of pregnancies are still unplanned in Nepal and only 38% of women know that abortion is legal. Knowledge is very low among illiterates (20%) and lowest health quintile (22%). The journey of legalization of safe abortion started in 2002 followed by national standards, protocols, guidelines, training materials and training centers and 1st SAS in maternity hospital in 2004, introduction of 2nd trim services in 2008 which finally led to the announcement of free service of safe abortion by Government of Nepal in 2015.

The director also briefed about the comprehensive abortion care that ensured pre and post care and usage of completely safe technology. The data showed that it has benefited approximately about 751, 694 women in total till 2070-71. This saved many deaths of women and morbidity of women. 

Some of the major achievements in terms of safe abortions –

  • There are more than 2245 health care providers trained in SA care under National Health Training Centre (NHTC).
  • Abortion care is a part of Health Management Information System (HMIS).
  • The SA complications have been decreased to 2%.

With a stroke of a pen, abortion became legal and safe choice for women seeking to end unintended pregnancies. But for many women, ingrained fear and shame about abortions remained. Sunaulo Parivar Nepal has been working for the nation’s availability of SAS techniques with effective pail management and post-procedure family planning information and services.