Srinagar: Self-induced medical abortion is on the rise among girls in the 14-25 age group in the Valley, doctors say.
Many gynaecologists Kashmir Reader spoke to said that they come to know of such abortions only when the girls come to hospitals or private clinics for complications caused by the medicines.
“At first most of them say that they are married, but they spill the beans when we inquire further,” said a registrar at Lal Ded Hospital, the Valley’s only maternity hospital.
“Most of the times we get cases of incomplete abortion. These girls do not know what to do after taking medicines. When they come to us they are either bleeding profusely or become extremely anemic or their health is in bad shape,” she said.
Last year, the doctor said, a pregnant Class 9 student had been brought to the hospital for delivery
“She was so young that we faced a lot of problems in conducting her delivery,” she said.
“We would rarely encounter cases of self-induced medical abortion but now the menace is slowly picking up. In a week we deal with at least two cases,” the registrar said.
Asmat Suhail Khanday, a gynecologist at Ramzana Hospital, said the youth read the stuff on the Internet and “think they have complete sex education”.
“Mere reading does not mean that they have complete education in such matters. They then have illicit sex and have to deal with unwanted pregnancies,” she said, while stressing on parental watch and guidance.
Most gynaecologists blame the pharmacists for providing medicines to these girls without medical supervision.
Since abortion is illegal, doctors can’t prescribe such medicines. However, a gynaecologist said that in case of emergencies doctors can step in.
But an effective preventive measure, said Shahnaz Taing, head of gynaecology department at LD Hospital, is parental guidance and moral education.
What is medical abortion
Once pregnant, a woman takes the abortion pill, which might cause nausea in some. Another pill is taken six to 72 hours later. The abortion starts one to four hours after the second pill. Heavy bleeding and cramps last for a couple of hours. Lighter bleeding may continue off and on for one to two weeks or more. In countries where abortion is legal, women take the pill at a clinic or doctor’s office and then come for a follow-up appointment about a week later to be sure the abortion is complete.