In India, abortion has been legal for over 30 years, following the enactment of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act in 1971. While the MTP Act permits abortion for a broad range of social and medical reasons, it also includes provisions regarding delivery of services that have proved to constrain access to safe and legal abortion for the great majority of women in India. Due in part to these constraints, up to 90 percent of the six million induced abortions estimated to occur annually in India are illegal—provided in uncertified settings and/or by uncertified providers. Many are unsafe and result in significant morbidity and mortality. The situation is particularly poor in the less-developed states of north India, including Rajasthan. Thus, Rajasthan is among the states in India where increased access to safe abortion services is most needed. The Population Council, in partnership with the Centre for Operations Research and Training and Ibtada, undertook a program of research on unwanted pregnancy and induced abortion in six districts of Rajasthan. The program aimed to provide comprehensive data on abortion to guide future programs and policies. Findings from three studies conducted from 2001 to 2002 are detailed in this brief.
"Understanding induced abortion: Findings from a programme of research in Rajasthan, India," research brief. New Delhi: Population Council, 2004.