Stern checks on Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) centres showed there has been a rise in the number of abortions in the last two years and failure of contraceptive devices has been cited as the most common reason.
A series of inspections by the Pune Municipal Corporation’s city family welfare bureau has helped register a total of 284 MTP centres in the city. These include hospitals and nursing homes and while 14 were sanctioned in August this year, another proposal for clearing 11 MTP centres will come up for approval at the MTP committee’s meeting on Thursday.
Dr Anjali Sabne, Head of the bureau told Newsline that the inspection mainly focused on abortions that were performed after the delivery of one or two girls. A pregnant woman has to fill the consent form at the abortion centre and data is then collected as to the reason for MTP. She cautioned that so far there has been no immediate association between the rise in abortions cases and sex determination of the foetus.
From April 2013 to March 2014, there have been 18,374 abortions out of which 16,741 were during the first trimester — that is upto 12 weeks. According to PMC data from April 2012 to March 2013, a total of 16,690 abortions were registered out of which 15,784 were in the first trimester.
Among the most common reason for abortions, is the failure of the contraceptive device and as many as 15,783 have cited that cause for an MTP from April 2013 to March 2014. From April 2012 to March 2013 too, as many as 14,897 pregnant women cited the same reason.
In other cases, reasons like grave injury to physical or mental health of the woman were cited, and abortions were also performed in cases were the foetus was detected with abnormalities, Sabne said. The survey in 2013-14 found that a total of 394 foetuses had defects, while in 2012-13, a total of 283 were identified with abnormalities.
New data from April till July this year, shows that there have been as many as 6307 abortions and again 5025 women have cited failure of contraceptive devices for the pregnancy. As many as 261 women aborted in the second trimester — from 12 to 20 weeks. Another reason for terminations is grave risk to the physical health of the pregnant woman (580 cases). A total of 319 women have said that carrying forward the pregnancy would have posed a risk to their mental health. Seven women who were raped during this period had to terminate their pregnancies while 147 foetuses had abnormalities and were aborted.
Better reporting of data by hospitals and nursing homes has helped, Sabne said. Special drives are held to ensure that the Pre conception and Pre Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) law is strictly implemented. “Most Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) centres has started reporting abortions accurately,” she added. Chemists have stopped sale of MTP kits and abortion pills, while several MTP centres refuse to conduct second trimester abortions any more, she said.