- Carry out sustained campaigns to promote access to safe and quality abortion services for all girls and women.
- Support campaigns against gender discrimination without compromising women’s access to safe abortion services.
- Support and promote a gender-sensitive perspective in the interpretation and application of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act.
Current Advocacy Initiative
Decriminalisation of Abortion
In May 2020, CREA and CommonHealth organised a series of 3 webinars on decriminalisation of abortion in India. The webinars interrogated the history of abortion laws in India, their current status, challenges in accessing abortion services and advocacy strategies as a way forward through an intersectional cross-movement lens. The series sought an in-depth discussion on the current political, social and legal landscape along with the implications of COVID-19, public system preparedness, the recent amendments to the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 and the legal pathways to ease women’s access to abortion services (beyond COVID-19 as well)
The Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) makes abortion (‘miscarriage’) a criminal offence. The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 is the exception to this law. The MTP safeguards registered medical practitioners by laying down certain conditions under which abortion is possible. However, the law does not consider the reproductive autonomy of the person seeking the abortion. On 17th March 2020, the Lok Sabha (Lower House of the Parliament) approved an amendment to the MTP which is in fact a heteronormative, eugenic and patriarchal approach to abortion with no consideration to consent or bodily autonomy of the person seeking the service.
Additionally, the pandemic has raised further concerns of the access to abortion and has demonstrated the stark levels of marginalization, discrimination and stigma present in our societies. In particular, from the perspective of sexual and reproductive health & rights (SRHR), we saw a growing evidence of the pandemic having an impact on the everyday needs of people in accessing sexual and reproductive healthcare.
We believe that abortion is every person’s right and should be a stigma-free safe health service out of the purview of criminal justice system.
In the coming weeks, starting today, we will be sharing key takeaways including the graphic recordings of the discussions illustrated by Sonaksha Iyengar from the series of 3 webinars across our website and Facebook channel.
We hope that you engage with these online deliberations – do spread the word!
Founded in 2000, CREA is a feminist human rights organisation based in New Delhi, India. It works to advance the rights of women and girls, and the sexual and reproductive freedoms of all people.
CommonHealth is a multi-state coalition of organisations and individuals working to advocate for better access to sexual and reproductive health and healthcare, with a specific focus on maternal health and safe abortion. Some of CommonHealth’s work on safe abortion has emerged out of its wider engagement with ARROW as part of the SRHR related regional work that ARROW has been leading.
Reports Workshop and Consultations
Training and Advocacy
Contraception, Safe Abortion and Emergency Contraception (Grameen swasthya karyakartaon va ashaon hetu margdarshika Bhaag 5: Garbhdharan ki yojana banayein). Source: http://arth.in/resources/publications/educational-material-for-village-health-workers