Where can I get an abortion in Lucknow?

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Finding places in Lucknow can be a pain, especially if you are navigating the old part of city. Narrow lanes, slow traffic and lack of signs, all makes it a tough task. As a volunteer for Hidden-Pockets, my colleague and I, recently decided to look for places that offer sexual and reproductive health services in Lucknow. So we paid a visit to a family planning clinic of Family Planning Association of India (FPAI) Lucknow. As per FPAI Lucknow branch office, FPAI has 3 clinics in Lucknow. Finding the clinics’ number was not easy, as they don’t have any official landline number for their clinics. Google maps was also of limited help because the information available on the Internet about FPAI Lucknow is outdated with wrong numbers. So we used the rough directions received from Lucknow branch office, to visit the FPAI clinic located nearest to us, which was Sadar area inside Cantt. General hospital.

Directions: Riding on a scooty, we missed the turn for the clinic and had to take a U-turn back to Burlington crossing. (People visiting it from Hazratganj, please take a left from Burlington crossing and go straight). Once you are on the road to Sadar from Burlington crossing, you have to drive straight till you cross a flyover. As you descend from the flyover, look for Cantt. General hospital on the right.

After reaching the Cantt. General hospital, finding the clinic itself was easy. There was a big sign in the parking at the entrance, showing the way to the clinic. Clinic occupies first three rooms of a long corridor and is a hub of activity with a staff of 10.

As we made our entrance into one of the rooms, three women, who though relatively surprised at seeing us, greeted us warmly. We informed them about our purpose and settled to have a conversation. They were working as counsellors at the clinic.

Services offered: Talking to the counsellors was informative as they told us about the range of services provided at the clinic (See the pic). Anyone can avail of Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) services at the clinic by just walking in without any prior appointment or ID proof. They also have tie-ups with government functionaries like ASHA workers in rural areas. According to the staff, regular village camps are conducted by clinic. ASHA workers also refer patients to the clinic and get a small incentive for the referral.

That particular clinic has been in operation for more than 30 years. It shares both the premises and facilities of Cantt. General hospital like pathology labs. It has an 8-bed unit with one doctor. Currently, the clinic doesn’t provide 2rd trimester MTP services and refers patients to Queen Mary hospital in Lucknow, whenever any such case comes up. The clinic currently did not have any male patients. This, we believe, was due to lack of outreach effort by the clinic and also because of low awareness about its services in Lucknow city area. Talking to the counsellors at the clinic we felt comfortable and welcomed. They showed us around the clinic and were proud of the work they were doing. One of the counsellors is close to retirement after serving a long term with the clinic.

Right counselling continues to be a big challenge in the Indian healthcare system. Discussing your health issues in a safe and trusted environment with trained professionals is difficult. It often makes people anxious, especially sexual and reproductive health related issues. FPAI clinic at Cantt. General Hospital can be a good resource for someone looking for counselling on sexual and reproductive health in Lucknow. It has a friendly environment and experienced staff who are more than willing to listen to your concerns and answer your queries with a smile. Do check them out!

PS: “FPA India clinics may charge, what we prefer to call as a ‘partial user fee’ to the clients for seeking abortion or any other SRH service. This fee is very subsidized and helps the Association meet some running costs. However, all FPA India clinics also have a “NO REFUSAL POLICY”, which states that no client walking into any FPA India facility is denied any service, especially if he/she is unable to afford even the subsidized fee. Thus, poor and marginalized clients can also access quality services in FPAI clinics. Only when the facility is not equipped to provide a particular service (for example some client may need a specialized service, or admission or higher level emergency care) are clients to other facilities.”

About the writer:

Nitin Malik is a volunteer with Hidden Pockets.

What does Indian law say about abortion? In conversation with Anubha Rastogi

CREA, a feminist huma rights organisation organised a workshop on law and abortion on June 23 & 24, 2017 facilitated by lawyer Anubha Rastogi. Specialising in human rights law, Rastogi has extensive experience of working with women’s rights issues including illegal trafficking, abortion, sexual harassment,   among others. In conversation with Hidden Pockets, Rastogi spoke about right to our body as a fundamental right, laws around abortion, abortion as a right, among others.

Right to our body

How does the constitution define our right to our body?

The (Indian) constitution in the chapter on fundamental rights guarantees that each person has a right to life. Right to life has been interpreted to mean a lot of things including your personal liberty, your bodily integrity and your right to health. So that’s where the constitution actually brings in the fact that each person in this country has a right over his or her own body.

What are the rights that women enjoy with respect to their sexual and reproductive health?

If I look at laws, we have the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act from 1971 where the language is not in a rights based format but it has been providing access to women who want to terminate pregnancies and then there’s the Maternity Benefit Act which now has recently been amended to expand its own scope. Then there are legislations that have come in as a result of offences against women like the Domestic Violence Act, the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses etc. But having said that, the Constitution treats each person as an equal and with that also provides the space for the state to make any special provisions for women and children and within that there are a lot of progressive policies and legislations which have been made for women.

Abortion as a right

How does the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act view getting an abortion? Does the act confer the right to abort on women?

The MTP Act is worded in a way in which the medical termination of pregnancy is based on medical opinion. So there is no on demand abortion in this country. And the MTP Act also lays down the conditions under which the pregnancy can be terminated. A registered medical practitioner can go ahead and terminate the pregnancy only based on medical opinion in the existence of any of these conditions. So in a sense even though since 1971 there is official legal access to termination of pregnancies, it’s not a right. It’s only one judgment of the Bombay High Court that has viewed the existing law from the lens of the woman and has termed it as a right. But the legislature is still not looking at it as a right.

What are the rights conferred by the Act on an unmarried women? is it illegal for an unmarried woman to get an abortion in India?

See the law is saying that where a woman is pregnant and it is an unwanted pregnancy and in the opinion of the doctor, the unwanted pregnancy will impact or have a grave injury on the woman’s physical body or her mental makeup then definitely the pregnancy can be terminated. Where the reason is contraception failure that is available only for married women. Where the pregnancy is as a result of rape and the woman is a major, there the woman can definitely seek termination of pregnancy and that can be provided to her irrespective of her marital status.

What are the amendments that have been proposed under the MTP act?

The amendments that have been proposed in the MTP Act are definitely to look at on demand abortion at least up to 12 weeks. There has been a proposal of increasing the 20-week limit to 24 weeks or 26 weeks. I think that stand keeps changing. One of the things that they are asking for is to increase the provider base because it’s with the appropriate training. So it’s not necessary that it’s only a MBBS doctor who can provide the MTP service. If legally, the law accepts it, with appropriate training even other service providers can provide this service safely. There has been a move to increase some other reasons for which an MTP can be provided. Those are some of the key amendments that are being sought.

Will abortion become a right if the on-demand abortion up to 12 weeks gets passed as an amendment?

Yes

Terms of the abortion as per MTP Act

What are the circumstances under which abortion can be done as you say under the MTP Act?

The MTP Act determines the length of the pregnancy as one of the factors. With respect to the length of the pregnancy (within which pregnancy can be terminated), the Act mentions 12 weeks and then there’s 20 weeks. If the pregnancy is as a result of sexual abuse or rape, she can get an abortion. It also allows for abortion where it’s a married woman and there is a contraception failure and therefore the pregnancy is unwanted. It also gives two instances as illustrations of what can be considered as a circumstance which will have a grave injury on the woman’s either physical condition or her mental setup. That is definitely one of the main reasons why many MTPs are done and can be done. The pregnancy may be terminated where there is any abnormality in the fetus, a history of disability in the family and a substantial risk that the fetus when comes to term and the child when born would suffer from some serious disability or would be handicapped, a term which the law uses. Apart from that it also provides for a registered medical practitioner to terminate a pregnancy at any point in time of the pregnancy irrespective of what the law otherwise says where it is to save the life of the woman.

Which is a place where someone can get an abortion? Is anything defined in the MTP act?

The MTP Act says that any government hospital is already a place that is approved where an MTP can be provided. For private setups, the MTP Act provides for a committee to be set up at every district level that will take applications and do an inspection of the place that has applied to become an MTP center. Once it’s approved, the committee will give them a certificate and will continue inspecting it and keep an eye ensuring that quality is maintained. So these are the two kinds of places where officially legally an MPT can be done.

PCPNDT Act and MTP Act: The conflict

What has been the effect of PCPNDT Act on MTP Act? Does PCPNDT make it illegal to get an abortion?

PCPNDT Act and the MTP Act, both acts have their scopes very clearly defined and they do not in any way merge or overlap with each other or hit each other. The PCPNDT Act only talks specifically about the regulation of clinics or technology that can provide sex determination (and selection) services. So the PCPNDT act makes it illegal for selecting the sex of the foetus and makes determining the sex and communicating the sex of the foetus an offense. And that’s where it stops. It does not say anything about what happens once a person knows the sex of the foetus. The offender under the PCPNDT Act in most cases is the expert, the radiologist or the technical expert who is able to understand and use the technology or misuse it. The MTP Act in its scope very clearly provides for situations when a pregnancy can be terminated and that’s all it says. If a woman is falling within any of those categories and on medical opinion, a registered medical practitioner is terminating the pregnancy there is no offense that has occurred under the MTP Act or under the PCPNDT Act at least by the provider who has provided the service. There may be an offence committed by someone under the PCPNDT Act. The person may have communicated the sex of the foetus but nothing else in this whole chain of events. The scope of the PCPNDT and the MTP Act has actually affected women in accessing MTP services in a large way. From what I hear, many doctors are now afraid or are reluctant to provide MTP services because of which there is a possibility of some kind of restriction or inspection that they will have to face.

How has the sex ratio in India been affected by the PCPNDT and MTP Act considering that a certain association is constantly made in this conversation with respect to these Acts?

The gap between the number of girls born per 1000 male children born was increasing. Because of the declining child sex ratio, it was understood that this is happening simply because there is gender based sex selection that is taking place.

This gave the PCPNDT Act lot more teeth. When the Act was amended in 2003, several new technological developments were brought into the fold of the law. But very clearly the PCPNDT talked about the fact that the offense is the determination of the sex of the foetus and its communication. Without that information even if a woman or a family is seeking a MTP, it doesn’t really make a difference. The problem has been that the focus has completely moved from the service provider or the expert to the woman, her pregnancy and what is she doing with the pregnancy while that, in the domain of law is not really an offense. What has now happened is that states are being asked to provide child sex ratio numbers on a monthly basis. Districts have been asked to provide these on a monthly basis. I’m not a statistician so I’m not very clear but I’m told that it takes about at least 3-4 years to determine child sex ratio or sex ratio of the adult population. It’s obvious that those numbers are not accurate where we are asking districts to provide these numbers on a monthly basis. But those numbers are being quoted and this is having its impact on access to MTP centers and people are refusing to provide MTPs as a service. Obviously, then it has its impact. There is a lot of push to implement the PCPNDT Act in different ways because of these numbers.

What was the PIL related abortion that you had worked on, in the state of Chattisgarh? 

This was a writ petition filed as a Public Interest Litigation before the Bilaspur High Court in the state of Chhattisgarh. Before filing the petition, there were a lot of Right to Information applications that I had filed to know whether the District Level Committees have been actually set up in every district in the state of Chhattisgarh and what is the number, how many times in the past year did they meet, how many centres and how many applications have they decided upon. In Chhattisgarh, out of the almost 27 districts, some of them did not respond (to the RTI request) and 10 of them responded back saying that they had never set up a District Level Committee.

National Alliance for Maternal Health and Human Rights became the petitioners. They also have members from the state of Chhattisgarh. This petition was basically filed to ask for district level committees to be set up and to also ask for government hospitals to ensure that MTP services are provided and that they are as per law. We used the RTI data, the data that was available in the public domain about the condition of access to Medical Termination of Pregnancy services in Chhattisgarh and with individual stories of other woman and some clinics in Chhattisgarh (to file the PIL).

The case was decided in January 2017. When the petition was filed in 2014, I think there were only 30 registered centers that were available and at the end of the petition, there were 150 centers that were available.

Data that the state gave showed that they had actually done a fabulous job. Even though this was on paper, we still wanted an opportunity to be able to counter what the state is saying on paper but we were unfortunately not given that opportunity. But even then an increase from 30 to 150 is quite high even if it is only above 50 percent accurate. That is still some access that has been created because of this petition. It also enumerated the number of professionals who have been trained under the MTP Act to be able to provide MTP services. That had also drastically increased. We had also asked for other things in the petition where we said that not only should a government hospital or a private clinic be prepared to provide for MTP but it should also be prepared to deal with any eventuality. There should be access to blood banks, clean water, electricity etc. but all of those things were not really dealt with by the court and the matter was disposed off.

 

10 things that you don’t know about abortion in India

There seems to be a lot of general misconception or lack of clarity about getting a Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) or an abortion in India. Many women aren’t aware that it is legal in India to get a pregnancy terminated. It is important for women to know what is and is not a right with respect to getting an abortion. Here’s a list of 10 things that you might not know about getting an abortion in India:

1. Abortion is legal in India

Abortion or medical termination of pregnancy is legally permitted under certain circumstances up to twenty weeks of pregnancy. According to the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act of 1971, pregnancy may be terminated under certain circumstances. This includes

  1. Rape
  2. Physical or mental risk to the health of the pregnant woman
  3. Failure of contraception in case of married women
  4. Chances of disability of any kind to the child

2. Woman has the right to say yes or no to an abortion

Though MTP Act does not confer the right to terminate a pregnancy on demand, she can choose to say no to a forced abortion. She has the right to continue with the pregnancy and have the child. No one can force her to get an abortion. Now that is a punishable offence says the MTP Act!

3. You need only your consent to get an abortion

If you are a pregnant woman who wants to get an abortion, remember that only you need your consent to get an abortion. If you are above 18 years of age, you need no one else’s permission to get an abortion. If the doctor or personnel in any hospital asks for your parent or husband’s consent, let them know that it is your body and your right.

4. Pregnancy can be terminated till 20 weeks of pregnancy

The MTP Act allows for any pregnancy to be terminated within 20 weeks of pregnancy. However, in January 2017, the Supreme Court had granted permission to a rape survivor to terminate her pregnancy at 24 weeks since the foetus was found to not have a head. It is worth noting that an amendment drafted in 2014 sought to increase the pregnancy termination limit to 24 weeks from the present 20 weeks.

5. Every termination of pregnancy may not be a foeticide

The termination of a pregnancy is a foeticide only if it is done after a sex determination test. The PCPNDT Act was passed in 1994 to prevent female foeticide based on sex determination tests. Only if an abortion is proven to be done due to a sex determination test, it becomes a punishable offence.

6. Sex determination may not be possible with 12 weeks of pregnancy

Here’s the thing with sex determination test, the PCPNDT Act punishes the technician who performs the test. Usually, sex of the foetus cannot be determined within 12 weeks of pregnancy. So an abortion done with 12 weeks of pregnancy cannot be pinned on sex selection. That said, forcing a woman to do a sex selection is a punishable offence.

7. Only a Registered Medical Practioner (RMP) can do abortion

It is important to get any pregnancy terminated by a Registered Medical Practioner. This may seem like a trivial detail when you are looking to get an abortion. But it is something that is to be taken quite seriously considering that unsafe abortion could leave to several complications. The MTP Act prescribes the requirements for any doctor to become a Registered Medical Practioner. This involves several levels of rigorous training to ensure that the doctor is well qualified to their job. Hence it is important to get an abortion done only from a Registered Medical Practioner.

8. Abortion can be done only in a government hospital or District Level Committee approved place

Similar to the need for Registered Medical Practioner to perform an abortion, it is also necessary to get an abortion in a government approved hospital. A pregnancy can be terminated only in a government hospital or a hospital approved by a District Level Committee set up for this purpose. If you are unsure about where to get an abortion, head to the nearest government hospital to avoid any complications that may arise to due to unsafe abortion.

9. Abortion is not a right

Getting an abortion may be legal in India, however it is not a right that women have. What does this mean? It means that you cannot get an abortion on demand, which means that a woman cannot ask to be aborted by a doctor. It can be got only for one of the reasons stated above.

10. Doctor can refuse to perform an abortion on any woman

Considering that abortion is not a right in India, any doctor may refuse to terminate a pregnancy. For instance, the woman may mention risk to physical or mental health as a reason for requesting a termination of her pregnancy. However unless the doctor sees that to be a real risk, they can refuse to terminate the pregnancy.

To listen more on this issue, check out our podcast where Jasmine George, a lawyer and sexual and reproductive health advocate discusses MTP Act with us.

Where to get an abortion and other sexual and reproductive health services in Kolkata?

Recently Hidden Pockets set out to find different sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services in the city of joy, Kolkata. A primary research of the different health services provided in the city was done before the mapping exercise was undertaken. This research included Internet research and conversations with different individuals, activists and organisations working in the space of public health. The research showed that the status of public health services was inaccessible, unhygienic and crowded. So we decided to picked out a few of the available public health service providers in the city to understand the state of SRH services in the city. Since Family Planning Association of India (FPAI) usually features on our list of recommendations in the cities that we map, we decided to start with FPAI.

What happened to Right to Information?

The FPAI centre in Kolkata is located in Etally. The nearest bus stop is located at 5 minutes walking distance. The centre is located on the inside of a market road. It is a rather old building with a board outside that says Family Planning Association of India and lists all the services provided at the centre. It was hard to miss the strong smell of urine on entering the building premises. It wasn’t the cleanest of centres that we have been to so far, in the country. The first floor has the ward and the office is on the second floor.

On requesting for information about the services provided at the centre, the categorical response given by the medical officer was “Go to the Kolkata headquarters for any information about the services provided here. We will not give you any information.” The staff seemed clearly quite unapproachable. It was quite strange considering that the list of services provided at the centre is listed on the name board displayed outside on the door.

With FPAI off the list, it became important to look into other sexual and reproductive health service centres in the city that were approachable and also provided different services at a reasonable cost. More importantly, were there any reasonable government hospitals in the city providing SRH services?

How good are the government hospitals?

In an attempt to find some answer to that question, SSKM hospital, (located about half kilometer from Rabindra Sadan metro station) was chosen as the next destination. This is a referral hospital along with a medical college attached to it. Reason enough, the hospital is quite large and also usually crowded throughout the day. Located in the centre of the hospital campus, the gynecology department is difficult to locate without any support from the hospital staff. The guard at the gate was quite helpful giving directions to the gynaecology department. Gynecology department is located opposite to the Eye department and diagonally opposite to the Ronald Ross block. However, even with help, it was hard to locate considering the constant crowd on the hospital campus. It is a large department that has a separate building for the neonatal services provided at the hospital.

The cost of acquiring an OPD card in the hospital for all departments is Rs. 2. On checking the OPD registration desk on the ground floor of the building for services provided by the gynecology department and cost involved, we were told to check directly with the gynecology OPD. The administrative staff did not seem approachable. That said, the OPD registration had a constant queue throughout the day. The gynaecology OPD is a clean ward with air conditioning. On requesting from a doctor on duty (an intern), we were asked to talk to the Head of the Department (HOD) of Gynaecology whose office is in the Ronald Ross block. Though Ronald Ross block sounded easy enough, locating the HOD’s office in the building was not easy. The staff and interns that we spoke to, on the ground floor of the building either refused to give any information or said that they are not aware of the office. Being utterly confused in the large hospital, we had to check with several departments including Eye and ENT to be doubly sure of the HOD’s office. Due to sheer exhaustion of locating the different departments and heavy rains, we decided to meet the HOD on day 2.

Eventually on day 2, the HOD’s office was located on the second floor of Ronald Ross building. On landing up at the HOD – Dr. P.S.Chakravorthy’s office, we were asked to come the next day to have a conversation to understand all the sexual and reproductive health services provided in the hospital. Unlike other staff, the HOD was quite approachable and friendly. On day 3, an interview was conducted to understand the different SRH services provided in the hospital. The doctor was willing to answer all questions that were put forth.

Excerpts from the interview conducted:

Sexual and reproductive health services available for men:

“There is a STD clinic in the hospital close to the skin clinic that includes STI and RTI services as well.”

Process of accessing these services:

“The person has to go to the OPD STD clinic and register and see the doctor.”

Most common concerns for men:

“Mostly urethral discharge, burning sensation and gentile ulcers.”

HIV testing centre:

“There is one HIV testing centre that is attached to the blood bank, one to the microbiology lab, one to pathology department and there’s another attached to the antenatal clinc. There may be even more.”

Cost of accessing these services

“Buying the OPD card at Rs. 2 gives access to all services in the hospital including HIV testing centre at no additional cost, for both services and medication.”

AIDs & HIV related services:

“When we find that a person is HIV positive, we send them to the ART centre where they are provided counseling, both the patient and the spouse, medications, lifestyle advices, health education.”

Sexual and reproductive health services available for women

“Same as men and in addition, gynaecology OPD, skin OPD (because of wart). There is an adolescent clinic also – usually for teenage girls related to reproductive problems – menstruation – regular, irregular, pain, discharge etc.”

Medical Termination of Pregnancy (abortion): (Both married and unmarried women)

“We definitely provide abortion services to both married and unmarried women. To us, they are all patients. Irrespective of whether they are rich, poor, no matter the caste or creed, we try to help them.”

Cost of accessing this service

“Even MTP is included in the OPD charges of Rs.2, for MTP involving both medication or surgical intervention.”

SRS services

“The Plastic Surgery department runs the SRS service. It is again, free. In West Bengal, all services provided by the government are free. This also means that we have a lot of crowd here for all services.”

Other sexual and reproductive health services provided

“Family Planning services and Adolescent Friendly Health Clinics are also available.”

A reality check!

Though the doctor confirmed the availability a wide range of sexual and reproductive services, the concerns raised and expressed by people we spoke to accessing the services included:

  • Constant crowd
  • Need to have connections inside or outside the hospital to get access to high quality services
  • Often junior doctors or interns tend to the patient

On having spoken to the Plastic Surgery Department on the SRS service at the SSKM hospital provided in the hospital, Abhirup Kar, President of Civilian Welfare Foundation said, “The concerned person did not know what SRS was. We had to explain it to them and then  We had to explain it to them. We were then told that SRS is not done there and is only a subject of research in the hospital.”

Owing to the concerns raised about government institutions, we thought it necessary to also check with the private institutions on the different SRH services provided. Speaking to Hidden Pockets, a senior gynecologist* with 20+ years of experience said that the price of getting an abortion could range between Rs. 3,500 to Rs.30,000 in any private institution depending on the location. While the cost of getting an abortion could be anywhere between Rs.3,500 to 10,000 in Northern Kolkata, it costs Rs.15,000 to Rs.30,000 in Southern Kolkata depending on the institution and seniority of the doctor.

The senior gynecologist’s (hospital’s) cost breakdown for an abortion was as follows:

Rs. 4,000-5,000 for consultation

Rs.1,000-2,000 for the services

Rs.1,000 or so for medication

____________________

Total: Rs. 7,000-9,000  (cost estimated for his hospital’s services)

____________________

Note: Hidden Pockets studies focus on recommending at least one SRH service provider in any city that we go out after personal assessment of the centre for different parameters. However in Kolkata, owing to the crowd and unfriendly staff, we could not go beyond 2 government service providers during our time there. 

PS: “FPA India clinics may charge, what we prefer to call as a ‘partial user fee’ to the clients for seeking abortion or any other SRH service. This fee is very subsidized and helps the Association meet some running costs. However, all FPA India clinics also have a “NO REFUSAL POLICY”, which states that no client walking into any FPA India facility is denied any service, especially if he/she is unable to afford even the subsidized fee. Thus, poor and marginalized clients can also access quality services in FPAI clinics. Only when the facility is not equipped to provide a particular service (for example some client may need a specialized service, or admission or higher level emergency care) are clients to other facilities.”

Where to look for Sexual and reproductive health aid in Ahmedabad

Where to look for Sexual and reproductive health aid in Ahmedabad

Hidden Pockets visited Ahmedabad and decided to walk the city. The visit became more exciting when we got to know that FPAI i.e. Family Planning association of India is also present in Ahmedabad.  Hidden Pockets decided to visit the clinic. “FPAI is a voluntary non-governmental organization which pioneered the family planning movement in India. It is committed to gender equality and to eliminate discrimination which threatens individual well-being and leads to wide spread violation of health and human rights particularly of adolescents and young women.” – FPAI Brochure.

The administration building of FPAI, Ahmedabad is located at Nashabandhi Compound, Bhadra opposite to Apna bazaar. It is very close to the most famous ‘New Lucky Restaurant’. We went and met the programme head and also the branch manager. There we got to know that the FPAI clinic is at Madhupur, so we headed towards the clinic. The clinic is very close to the Namaste Circle (one can see hands statue in a namaste gesture 😊) and Haripura Gardens. As soon as one reaches the Haripura Gardens, take the road that goes inside along the garden. Keep walking for 10-15 mins. And then one can see an Urban Health Centre on the left. FPAI is at the 2 floor.

The best part of FPAI staff is the smile on their faces, which makes the clinic filled with positive vibes. As we entered the clinic, we met the counsellor who had a bright smile on her face. She showed us around the clinic. FPAI, Ahmedabad has a counsellor room, examination room, tests room, and a minor operation theatre.

Process to get an Medical Termination of Pregnancy: 

First the person is registered. His/her name and other information is kept confidential. Then the person is sent to the counsellor where he or she interacts with the counsellor. FPAI follows no refusal policy. No one is refused here. If the scope is beyond FPAI, then it refers the person to some other organization. After the counselling the person is sent to the examination room and then the doctor tells what all is needed to be done. All tests are done and then the person is sent back.

FPAI, Ahmedabad also believes in the importance of after care. It keeps in touch with the person and provides after care. FPAI believes that it is very important to see if abortion (medical termination of pregnancy – MTP) is safely completed and the person is safe. It asks the person to come back after 15 days for a checkup. It also provides alternatives to those who cannot come back after 15 days.

 

FPAI, Ahmedabad provides MTP services, long term contraception plans, HIV and AIDS testing, Pap smear test and breast cancer testing. One of the special thing about this clinic is that it also has special OPD on Fridays for males, adolescents and MSM (Men who have sex with men). They also provide family planning counselling. All this is done at a very minimal rate  ( Maximum Rs 1000) and few of the pills are completely free.

This branch also does MTP for 2nd Trimester ( This is mostly after 12 weeks of pregnancy). It is very hard to find a reliable place where 2nd Trimester is performed and FPAI Ahmedabad is one of it where one can expect accountability.

People from Ahmedabad, if required kindly utilize this amazing facility and ask whoever is in need to visit FPAI, Ahmedabad.

PS: “FPA India clinics may charge, what we prefer to call as a ‘partial user fee’ to the clients for seeking abortion or any other SRH service. This fee is very subsidized and helps the Association meet some running costs. However, all FPA India clinics also have a “NO REFUSAL POLICY”, which states that no client walking into any FPA India facility is denied any service, especially if he/she is unable to afford even the subsidized fee. Thus, poor and marginalized clients can also access quality services in FPAI clinics. Only when the facility is not equipped to provide a particular service (for example some client may need a specialized service, or admission or higher level emergency care) are clients to other facilities.”

 

Written by : Aisha Lovely George