Safe abortion bill gathering dustDraft of the Safe-abortion bill has been gathering dust at the Ministry of Women Children and Social Welfare (MoWCSW) for over a year now.
Draft of the Safe-abortion bill has been gathering dust at the Ministry of Women Children and Social Welfare (MoWCSW) for over a year now.
The bill formulated by the National Women Commission hardly differs from the existing law in terms of time frame for terminating a pregnancy, but stresses on making the procedure safe.
According to the commission, the bill was formulated in order to ensure that the state provides safe abortion services across the country and the information about free and safe abortion is disseminated in all parts of the country.
“Legalising abortion in not enough; it is a vital part of a woman’s reproductive health right. We want to ensure that it is not confined to just urban areas but rural women also have access to the same facilities,” said NWC Spokesperson Manu Humagain.
The bill also stress on the need for inspection of service providers and renewal or termination of their contract on the basis of their service.
Under the existing Abortion Law that was enacted in 2002, under normal circumstance a woman can terminate her pregnancy within 12 weeks. In case of rape or incest time limit for abortion is 18 weeks and any stage of pregnancy if it poses danger to the life or physical or mental health of the pregnant woman or the foetus is seriously deformed and it is recommended by a doctor.
When asked about the delay, ministry officials lamented that last year’s devastating earthquake diverted their attention away from other matters. “We were only able to focus on issue of protection,” said Joint Secretary at the ministry Radhika Aryal.