According to independent surveys and research, we have discovered young girls taking abortion pills without prescription. They simply visit pharmacies and avail themselves of abortion pills without learning its risks.
What makes women fall in for such unsafe abortion practices?
Abortion in India is legal and just like any other woman, you too have a legal abortion option open.
We have tried to speak to many local women living in and near Chikka Banaswadi, Dodda Banaswadi and Bangalore. We have tried to reach out to as many women and girls both in the rural and urban regions.
Our motive behind these surveys was to understand why are women and girls attempting self-abortions. Even when abortion in India is legal, why do they not look for safer options?
What we have understood is that unmarried girls and women tend to undergo an unsafe abortion because of multiple reasons like:
- Lack of knowledge
- Fear from
- negative impact to future life,
- treatment they may receive at the hands of healthcare providers and more.
- To cut the cost of the abortion.
- They consider it an easy method rather than visiting a doctor for an abortion.
- Many professional and young girls regard it better than multiple appointments at an abortion clinic.
Some common situations:
Many girls claimed that they were left on their own by their boyfriends when they told them of pregnancy. Most of these couples are not looking forward to getting married. However, they turn up into messy situations with unplanned pregnancies.
Some girls said that they received some financial aid to abort the pregnancy. And since they do not know where to go, they availed themselves of abortion pills.
Even the pharmacy representatives have not responded as they should have when girls or their partners asked for MTP kits without valid prescriptions. Rather than telling them of its ill effects and educating them of safe abortion methods, they give off MTP kits for a few extra bucks.
Some abortion stories of women and girls in Banaswadi: Experiences to learn from:
Our survey had some girls staying in hostels or as Paying guests either as students or professionals. Most of them were in relationships. And some out of them have had experienced unwanted pregnancies. And we also spoke to some married women who have had abortions in past. Let’s listen what they have to say. In their words,
“I asked my partner to get me an MTP kit. He asked the pharmacy representative how to take it. He was told that the two types of pills are to be taken at a gap of 24 hours. After the second pill, within 5 hours, I was drenched in the pool of my own blood. I was unable to move. With help from a friend and my partner, I tried to move to the washroom. I woke up at a private clinic.
My friend told me that I got unconscious and had to be brought to the hospital. As they were afraid of being asked what happened to me, they gave some extra money to a private clinic’s nurse. I don’t know what she gave me. When I woke up, I was lying on the bed with a cannula and a drip slowly dripping down the blood in me.
I swear I am never going to buy abortion pills ever in my life. I wish I had some safer abortion option.”
Before we go ahead in the story, it is for you to know that abortion in India is legal both for married and unmarried girls. And pregnancy resulting from contraceptive failure meets the requirements for legal abortion up to 20 weeks. So, before you do something like these girls, please visit a registered abortion hospital near you for a safe abortion.
What happened with the girl? Contraceptive failure:
“I was in a long-term relationship. We decided to hook up on a planned date for my birthday. We ended up getting intimate. But we were cautious and used contraceptives. God knows, how come the coat protection failed to get me pregnant.”
What she does next?
“Since my partner was away and we have no immediate plans for marriage, he asked me to abort the pregnancy. I agreed. But where to go? I asked a friend of mine. She told me that abortion pills are safe and I can get them from any pharmacy.
I asked her to accompany me since I was a bit unsure as to how will the pharmacist respond. I wrote the name of the MTP kit on a small chit and passed it to him. He told me that he can give it but I will have to pay more than the MRP. I agreed. After all, this was the only rescue in front of me at that time.
He also told me that he is not sure how to take them and whether they will work for me. But, seeing no other option, I decided to go ahead.”
What happened after taking abortion pills?
“Abortion took place on the third day. But abdominal cramps and pain were so much, that nothing was able to calm me down. I was crying, using a hot water bottle and trying to keep my focus off the pain.”
What happened after abortion:
“After the abortion, the pain relaxed a bit. Since I am working, I took a leave for two days, but I had to be back the next day. I had no choice since it was an important meeting. Somehow, I pulled myself fighting the fatigue and went office.
I got so exhausted that a friend dropped me in my room. Pain and fatigue were expected and they continued for another couple of days. But I was not sure when will the bleeding stop. Sometimes, it is heavy and at other times just light spotting. I also got a fever. I did some internet research and thought it may subside by a week or so.
After waiting for nearly 15 days, I was feeling very weak and could hardly concentrate on my work as well. So, I decided to see a doctor. But I was scared what would I say where did I get the abortion pills from. However, a friend at the office knew a doctor and I went to see her.
She examined me and told me that it was a case of incomplete abortion. I read about it on the net but was not sure, what next? When she told me that I need to undergo surgery for completing the abortion, I developed cold feet. She was reluctant to perform the procedure herself because she said I should visit the doctor who gave me abortion pills in the first place.
After requesting her, she agreed. But since it was an unofficial procedure, it was done with a pain reliever only and not exactly the anesthesia. Although the procedure lasted a few minutes, it was horrible pain, a lot worse than I thought it would be.”
This story has a common touchpoint for some married women. We understand the concerns and fears of unmarried girls. But married women could have openly asked for legal abortions. Here is a story that is quite similar for some married women we spoke to.
“I am having three children. We are not even economically very sound. Hence, an addition to the family was not a choice. So, my husband and I decided to undergo an abortion. We went to a clinic. There was a huge crowd and we had to wait for our turn till late afternoon.
The doctor did not do any diagnosis and no clinical tests were asked. She gave me some pills. I took them there in the clinic itself. Other pills were handed to me to be taken after 36 hours. I took the second pill and suffered intense pain.
The doctor gave me a pain reliever that I took when the pain was getting worse. I started bleeding but it was not very heavy. It seemed like a period. The bleeding stopped after 3 days.
A week later, I was cooking food in the kitchen when I suddenly lost consciousness. Not knowing what happened, my eldest child called for help. I was taken to the hospital. I was lying unconscious. Therefore, I don’t even remember what happened.
When I woke up a day later, I was recovering from a surgery performed to save my life. It was my ectopic pregnancy and my fallopian tube ruptured leading to internal bleeding. I lost my fertility with that operation, but my life is safe. I thank God daily for blessing me with a new life. Had it not been for immediate medical help, I would not be speaking to you about my abortion experience.”
Message to take home:
If essential diagnostic tests are ignored before prescribing the abortion pills or another abortion method, it can risk the woman’s health and life. All the pain and trauma that these women underwent could have been avoided only by the right diagnosis.
If an ultrasound was performed before prescribing the abortion pills, the length and location of her pregnancy could have been ascertained. Just a test before the abortion can save your life. So, never try to cut down the cost of an abortion by ignoring or skipping these diagnostic tests.
This is yet another story of a married woman. And yet again, quite similar for many other married women.
“In my marriage of seven years, I am already a mother of two. Since I am also looking forward to pursuing my career goals, I do not want an addition. But somehow, I ended up with an unexpected pregnancy.
My in-laws are strictly against abortions. And stigma with abortion is in the collective consciousness of this society. I had no idea, where to go. My husband was reluctant to take me to an abortion clinic to avoid anyone knowing of my abortion.
I even offered to visit a different city, but due to family issues and small children, we dropped that idea. That would be a days-long trip and even weighed heavy as far as the cost of an abortion is concerned.
So, he secretly bought me abortion pills and I took them. He told the family that I am suffering from some abdominal discomfort and the doctor has advised me to rest. So, everything was settled.
I passed the embryo easily on the third day. However, the pain was grave but with medicines and some emotional support, I managed the discomfort.”
The turning point:
“After the fourth day, I was bleeding slightly. I knew it may take a few days for the bleeding to stop. It even stopped and there was mild spotting only. After nearly a week or more, I ended up being pregnant again. I could not understand what’s going on. Yes, maybe there was an intimate act in between, but we used a contraceptive.
UPT test was positive. This result put me in a big confusion. Now, again, I didn’t know what to do. But I was sure abortion pills are not going to work. Maybe, they didn’t work the first time and that’s why I am still pregnant.
I decided to visit a gynecologist. I did not tell her about the abortion pills I took last month. Upon consultation, I told her that I have missed my period and UPT is positive. Also, that I am looking to terminate this pregnancy.
She asked me to have an ultrasound at a nearby diagnostic lab. I took the test and the reports took off the rug from beneath my feet. I was carrying another pregnancy and some gestation products from previous pregnancy were rotting in my womb.
The doctor was cooperative. She advised me to have suction abortion. But I had to stay in the hospital overnight and all the things got known to the family. What we had been trying to hide from the family so far is now what I hear from them very often as rude comments.
Although I have healed from the abortion scars, I guess I will have to live with the mental scars all my life.”
Message to take home:
You can always find a confidential abortion clinic near you. You should always do your research before showing up in any clinic. As of today, Bangalore Genesis Hospital (BGH) near Banaswadi offers single-day, single-appointment abortions. It is a private hospital that provides safe, legal and confidential abortions in Bangalore. So, your medical details will also stay confidential. And due to private consultation, treatment and recovery, you don’t have to be a part of the crowd.
Unwanted pregnancy in Banaswadi: Abortion options in Bangalore
How to travel?
Bangalore Genesis Hospital (BGH) is a registered abortion clinic located at Queens Road, Bangalore. It is located at a distance of nearly 7.5 km from Banaswadi. One can easily reach there via any local means of transport. With a personal conveyance, it is accessible in less than half an hour.
For local transport, you can hire a cab, travel by bus or a local train.
Schedule an appointment:
It is advisable to speak on their helpline number and check for the appointment schedule. Since the hospital offers private and on-appointment services, you may need to schedule an early appointment.
Moreover, you can ask the coordinator on the helpline as to how you need to come prepared for the abortion. In case you have had your past clinical reports, if any, you may need to carry them along. Also, the doctor may ask you to come on an empty stomach for late-stage pregnancy termination.
Please make sure that you have your appointment since the hospital takes in only a limited number of patients every day.
What to expect at your arrival?
Since you already have an appointment, the hospital must be expecting you on time. When you visit, you’ll enter into a relaxing and calm ambience. It may help your nervousness slow down.
You won’t have to wait in long queues or get in touch with any audience. This is to ensure your privacy is safe.
Within a few minutes of your arrival, the doctor shall see you. You will receive a private one-to-one consultation. You may choose to bring a companion or friend for your comfort and also to drive you back home safely.
The doctor may ask you about your medical history and other relevant details. No personal queries are asked. No remarks are made. So, please relax even if you are an unmarried girl. The hospital will respect your privacy, your legal rights and of course, human rights.
If you are taking any medication or suffering from any co-existing medical condition, please tell your doctor about them. Even if you have any allergies, your doctor must know them. Tell your Last Menstrual Period (LMP) date. If you have brought any clinical reports of past recent tests, the doctor shall evaluate them.
You will have to undergo some routine clinical and diagnostic tests to confirm the exact length and location of your pregnancy. Once the reports are ready that may take less than an hour, the doctor shall prescribe you the best abortion method.
The doctor shall also explain to you what will be abortion like. And what to expect from each procedure. Since each abortion procedure at BGH is a safe and efficient procedure, there is nothing to stay bothersome. In the meanwhile, you can choose to rest in your private room.
Medical abortion at BGH:
This shall be prescribed to you in case:
- Your pregnancy is early, i.e., less than 6-8 weeks.
- You are carrying an intrauterine pregnancy.
- You are not suffering from any medical condition(s) whose medicines may interact with abortion pills.
- Since the procedure is nearly 95-97% efficient, probability of incomplete abortion persists. It can happen with any woman. So, you need to be ready to get the abortion completed by an in-clinic procedure in case you happen to be one such woman.
- This method involves pain and bleeding and if you are ready to undergo the discomfort, you can choose this method.
- The majority of women taking abortion pills after consultation can manage the discomfort easily. They receive consultation on the method of administration. Dose adjustment is done. And the doctor also gives them advice on what to expect and how to deal. Pain management is also a part of this consultation and prescription.
- The abortion takes place in the comfort of your home.
- You can expect to bleed for up to a week.
- Please follow-up:
- If you bleed heavily after a day post-abortion.
- In case the bleeding or spotting persists beyond day 10.
- If you experience a fever that is more than 101° F and it does not subside within 24-hours.
- After a week in any case to ensure a complete abortion. If there is no bleeding, fever or pain, you can avail of a follow-up through a telephonic conversation as well.
Suction abortion at BGH:
This shall be your abortion method in case:
- Your pregnancy is in the first trimester, less than 12 weeks.
- You are carrying an intrauterine pregnancy.
- It is a nearly 100% efficient procedure and you can even choose this method for early pregnancies. Most women who also have an option of medical abortion choose the suction method for its advantages like:
- It is a painless procedure.
- It gives you the confidence of a complete abortion before you leave the hospital premises.
- Suction abortion is a short in-clinic procedure that gets completed within 10 minutes.
- The patient gets discharged within an hour post-abortion. So, if you are coming from your home or hostel and do not wish to involve anyone, you can come to the hospital, obtain the procedure and be back in time. You can rest overnight and wake up relieved.
- You may not need a second appointment unless there is any major issue.
- Follow-up telephonically if the case so arises.
- Bleeding with this method is minimum. And the patient can resume normal routine the next following day.
Surgical abortion at BGH:
This shall be your abortion method in case:
- Your pregnancy is intrauterine and more than 12 weeks but less than 20 weeks.
- It is also a 100% efficient and safe procedure. It may get completed within half an hour.
- You may get discharged within an hour after the abortion. It is also a single-day and single-appointment procedure.
- BGH offers painless surgical abortions.
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