Make abortions safe, not life-threatening

No woman should have to take the risks inherent in unsafe abortion.

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A growing number of women are resorting to abortions in unsafe conditions and facilities.

The number of unwanted pregnancies is especially high among teenage girls and our reporters in Dhaka found more than 150 unsafe illegal abortions taking place every day in Mirpur and Shyamoli alone.

There are believed to be over half a million women suffering from complications from unsafe and illegal abortions. With the demand for abortion growing, there is a marked risk of this figure rising.

The government needs to review the law and facilities available to ensure that more women do not suffer the life threatening risks inherent in illegal and unsafe abortions.

At present, the law makes it illegal for women to get an abortion after 10 weeks of conception and severely limits the facilities and options available for most women.

The lack of available legal facilities willing to do abortions has only increased the number of women undertaking procedures in poorly monitored or unsafe facilities.

No woman should have to find herself in a situation in which she has to resort to back alley abortions that might, and at times do, cause irreparable harm, or, worse, may even cost her life.

Women should have the fundamental right to get an abortion, at least anytime during their first trimester and partly through their second trimester. It needs to be viewed as a medical procedure that medical professionals are able to provide in ways which are inexpensive and safe. There should be no harassment or unfair treatment to women who consider or undergo abortions.

Source: Dhaka Tribune

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