Can I get abortion in times of Corona Pandemic in India?

a woman with mask on her mouth

You read it right! Can your abortion services be disrupted because of Corona pandemic which is slowly affecting public health system in India?

The sad part is : It can.

Yes, you have right to get an abortion. Yes, there are doctors in India, who can help you with. Yes, Hidden Pockets will provide you with counselling as well. But the real issue, when the health system is bit down, when the service providers are distributing energy across various departments to help counter the Corona spread, abortion services are hit hard. Will the doctors be forced to choose between patients? Are abortion essential services?

So what has really changed in the pandemic?

  • Doctors are struggling to balance : Most of the doctors are doing their best to their limits to help patients that are coming to health sectors. Any small symptom related to Corona coming to hospitals is kept under treatment and being diagnosed.

In such a scenario the inherent bias against abortion also comes out strongly.  We are scared that there will be a shortage of doctors who can provide sexual and reproductive health services and there would be an increase in waiting time for clients.

In many places, the Indian Medical Association and or district administration has sent advisories to suspend all clinical work.

  • Shortage of medicines : We may see shortages of medications in contraceptives, antiretrovirals for HIV/AIDS and antibiotics to treat STIs due to disruptions in supply chains as most of industries based out of China or India.
  • Inability to reach the clinics for doctors : In specific case of Abortion, the cases within the case of first 6 weeks, are dealt with pills and doctors can help and provide pills to the patients to assist the termination of unwanted pregnancies. The only problem is that with the current lockdown in most of the cities in India, doctors are unable to reach the clinics. Our partners – FPAI have struggled to keep the clinics open, but the service providers are coming to help patients. In some other places like Mumbai, Pune and Delhi there is no transport available and even for medical personnel, reaching to our clinics is a struggle.
  • Inability to reach clinics for young clients : A lot of places have limited public transit. There is a lot of fear around visiting public places, or hospitals especially where a lot of possible carrier of the virus are visiting, this might even make it more difficult for people to reach the clinics.

Please dont panic, WhatsApp us at 8861713567 if any query.

Our advisor at Hidden Pockets Dr. Ashok Kumar has recommended that “Below 6 weeks or even upto 9 weeks doctors can do medical management and provide help with tablets. We are only dealing with medical emergencies like ectopic pregnancies. “

Some of the other advises that has been circulated around by practising doctors during the pandemic:

a) No routine antenatal visits.

b) Scan only in suspected Intrauterine growth restriction after 34 week

c) Mainly suspected ectopics and bleeding miscarriage. Minimize evacs if it can be managed medically or expectantly.

d) Infertility investigations and management : totally suspended.
e) Specialized abortion care centres low at risk of covid 19 so should ideally continue to provide services.

f) Cervical screening : suspended and only manage abnormal smear.

So as patients what should we do as young people :

a) Keep a track of your periods and use our pregnancy tracker to be updated.

b) Please use contraception, and if possible, use condoms every given time.

c) Connect to Hidden Pockets careline counselling, and we will try our level best to help you find a service in your city which is functioning, if within the first few weeks.

d) If its after first 6 weeks, it can wait for few weeks, as doctors would require to perform surgery and it is important to have clinics and doctors available for such process, so dont get nervous. We are there to help and guide you through the process.

Please dont panic, WhatsApp us at 8861713567 if any query.

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