Second Safe Abortion Day
Safe abortion services are important to ensure women's reproductive rights, to reduce maternal deaths and mortality. It also helps to check and balance unsafe abortions. Realizing the need for a safe abortion services in Nepal, it was decriminalized/ legalized under the law under certain clauses on 26th September 2002. Post the legalization, the safe abortion services first started in Maternity Hospital, Thapathali. Gradually the services were scaled up to all the 75 districts of Nepal. Even medical abortion which started in 2009 now has been scaled up to 41 districts. Recently government has announced free CAC services at the government health facilities.
In order to raise awareness and spread information on Safe Abortion Services Safe Abortion Day was celebrated to commemorate the legalization of safe abortion in Nepal on 26th September as well as to show solidarity to the international Safe Abortion Day on 28th Sept 206.
Celebration for 2016
Day Celebration on the 28th September 2016: (Candle Light Event)
Many women have lost their lives because they could not access safe abortion service. Women have died because they had unsafe abortion as they could not get service in the safe site and faced morbidity or death. Worldwide number of death due to unsafe abortion is 47,000 and this is a huge number. Therefore, a candle light event was held to remember those women who lost lives due to unsafe abortion on 28th September, 2016. On this day like-minded people working to increasing access to safe abortion got together to remember those women who died due to unsafe abortion and prayed for their soul to rest in peace as well as prayed that women prayed that no women in the world should die because of unsafe abortion. The event was held in Maitighar Mandala at 5: 30 pm. It began with a small note of prayer given by a representative of Reproductive Health Rights Working Group and then candles were lit up to remember the departed soul.
Day Celebration on the 29th September 2016 (Media Forum)
This was a high level interaction programme with the Minister of Health Mr. Gagan Kumar Thapa. Major output from the programme was a commitment from the minister to draft a separate bill on safe abortion as well as to finalize the guideline of sage abortion. Minister Thapa was committed to ensure the reproductive health rights of the women. The reporters had an interaction with Mr. Sabin Thapa, lawyer from Forum for Women, Law and Development(FWLD) who had presented the paper on the need of a separate law on safe abortion in Nepal.
Day Celebration on the 30th September 2016
A grand event was held on the 30th September 2015, to celebrate second Safe Abortion Day. A formal event was held at the Yellow Pagoda Hotel, Kantipath which was jointly organized by National Women’s Commission and Reproductive Health Rights Working Group. The Chief Guest on the occasion was Honorable Ranju Kumari Jha, Parliamentarian and Chair of the Parliamentarian Committee of Women, Children, Elderly and Social Welfare. Chairperson of the event was Mr. Bahadur Karki, Secretary of Women’s commission and special guests included Dr. R.P Bichha, Director, Family Health Division and Dr. Arzu Rana Deuba, Parliamentarian.
The event began with the calling of the high level delegates on to the dais and then with the national anthem.
Firstly, there was a welcome remark on behalf of Reproductive Health Rights Working Group which as given by Rakshya Poudyal.
A presentation by Dr. Jhalak Sharma Gautam stressed on the information on the importance of safe abortion. He also mentioned regarding developments that has led to reforms on safe abortion. He also provided information on achievements on safe abortion services in Nepal.
After the presentation, all the important delegates on the dias mentioned above, launched a bulletin namely “Sahayatra” which reflected work done by all the organization working on safe abortion. Ms. Smriti Thapa recited a poem which mentioned the need to stop unsafe abortion.
Mr. Sabin Thapa mentioned on the need of a separate law on safe abortion and its challenges. Likewise, Smriti Thapa mentioned about the challenges faced by youths to access safe abortion services.
Dr. Arzu Rana Deuba in her remarks mentioned that legalizing safe abortion is an achievement but still there is a long way to go. She also stated that provision of safe abortion is to safeguard women reproductive health rights against maternal deaths and disability and Improve child health and ultimately to empower women for better potential to grow and contribute to society protect women’s social dignity.
There was a remark by Dr. R.P Bichha, Director, Family health who mentioned mentioned that it was an extremely important event and that it is still important to reduce maternal deaths caused by unsafe abortion therefore raising awareness on safe abortion is extremely important.
Dr. Ranju Kumari Jha also congratulated everyone on the occasion of safe abortion day. She further mentioned that Nepal has far more liberal laws on safe abortion and mentioned that it is something to take pride on.
Vote of thanks was provided by Mr. Lek Bahadur Karki, Secretary National Women’s Commission to all the partners for their support and to the presenter and mentioned that there is still need to raise awareness and increase information on safe abortion.
In the end the youth group presented a dance and displayed placards on safe abortion rights.