Few days back I had causal discussion with group of grandmother who shared their experience on keeping the pregnancies even if their first child is only a year old. They shared they never heard of contraceptive methods. There were no such kind of things when they were married and they rarely talked with their husbands as they never got alone time with them to discuss about their future and having babies. Over discussion I asked them whether they know about abortion and whether those abortions were safe. Hearing abortion they hesitate to talk about that they still have traditional mind set. Further probing they said they had heard and also experienced abortion. One of the grand mom shared, “Abortion is not new, its old! During the period of Gautam Buddha: Ajatshatru’s mother tried her best to abort her child when she came to know her child will kill her father in near future. She used unsafe methods like asking her slaves to kick in her stomach and keeping heavy stones on her stomach. But she could not succeed.”
” People in non western region take “Abortion” being western stuff!! This proves that from ancient time abortion is privilege and I do not think people then had any stigma against it. Even if abortion is legal in countries women have to face stigma. Stigma has lead to unsafe abortion and many women have lost their life. As abortion being stigma even government could not get real data on abortion safe vs unsafe. People are not freely talking about abortion and abortion related deaths. In my personal experience where abortion has been legal and has been more than 10 years i.e. Nepal many people especially youth do not know about it. It is mostly due to stigma surrounding abortion. Therefore on 28th Sept, 2014 Global Day of Access to Legal and Safe Abortion, Bhaktapur Youth Information Forum with Beyond Beijing and Youth Champions of ASAP organized a documentary screening and discussion.
The documentary is entitled “News room Bahira” which tells the story of Sushila Jashi was died due to unsafe abortion. It had great impact on the participants. Observing the discussion, it was noticed that only few participants aware of abortion legalized in Nepal and about abortion laws. The discussion was followed by Value clarification activity where most of participants discussion on abortion should be taken as alternative to family planning. They also shared that young people should be taught in their schools and colleges about sexual and reproductive health before they step to unsafe sex and result into going for abortion. The event concluded with positive note that all should start spreading information on safe abortion and minimize stigma against abortion.