This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Youth Ki Awaaz. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Abortions: Highway to Hell?

More from Youth Ki Awaaz

By Srishti Singh:

I recently happened to watch the documentary ‘Lake of Fire’. This critically acclaimed documentary, made in two parts deals with the controversial topic of abortion, from the western (US to be specific) perspective. Now, had it been made from the Indian perspective, the reel would have been much nastier, I know. However, what struck me was, being a young, educated and claiming to be well-aware Indian, I found myself highly ignorant on the topic. Simply compare Abortions in India with Abortions in US and you’ll know I’m not totally at fault.

As I said, the documentary is in two parts-one from the perspective of pro-lifers and other explaining the point of view of pro-choicer. Growing up in India, I know the kind of horrors related to abortions. Unwed mothers killing themselves because of no access to abortions, married women being forced to abort because of a female foetus and so on. Hence I’ve never really been able to decide if I’m pro or anti abortion.

Now this documentary took my confusion to a whole new level. The documentary opens with the pro-lifers telling you how the abortion clinics are causing a holocaust, how women have become so selfish, how people supporting abortion will go to hell and burn in the lake of fire forever. The sights shown amidst all this are no less disturbing. When you see foetuses (some so well formed they look like a baby), you’ll be shaken to the core.

Although science or religion can still not prove whether killing the foetus is equivalent to killing a person, the first part left many other questions unanswered. Living in a country, where abortions are legal (abortions in India are legal since 1971), I had never heard about doctors getting killed for performing an abortion. Have a look at this: Anti-abortion violence. Now how on earth can that be justified (especially by people who support life)? I’m not supporting any group here, it is just the violence that got me questioning.

I always wondered why is it that people kill/abort an unborn child. I mean you can always give it to an orphanage, right? (Yes, a very naïve thought) I know there’s a stigma attached to an unwed mother, but I thought western society (supposedly more modern than India and other eastern countries) would be more sensitive towards such women. However, it is easier said than done. How do you convince your family and friends, how do you face your classmates/workers everyday, how do you simply take a child that has grown inside you and dump it at the nearest orphanage.

In such a scenario, abortion does indeed look like the most logical and safe option. Safe I say, because a lot of these unwed mothers are teenage girls. Ones, whose bodies are not developed enough to bear a child. (Yes, I know most of our grandmothers got married in their teens but the truth was and still is that its unsafe to bear a child when you are so young) One might say-why did the girl do it in the first place? If she cannot take up the responsibility of a child, why indulge in such an activity?

Well, for one, the people asking such questions are usually the ones who are also against the use of birth control methods. If we put the responsibility of morality on just one gender, there will be imbalance and conflict. I can go on about how it is unfair that a man can get away with such acts while a woman is left to suffer, but I’m not playing a feminist here. A feminist might tend to get biased, something I don’t intend on being. Also, I’m in no way supporting/opposing pre-marital sex.

So, yes, coming back to question. All those women who get an abortion done are not the ‘immoral’ unwed mothers. There are also rape victims and married women who already have 2 or more children (yes, in today’s society it is difficult to raise 6 children with a good standard of living unless you are Angelina Jolie or some other celebrity). What do you do in such cases? Marry the victim off to the rapist? Afghan woman‘s choice. Well I’m not singling out a particular country or religion here. India is also a champion of sorts when it comes to marrying our women off to their attackers.

There is a reason behind why hangers are chosen as a symbol of protest by the pro-choicers. There was a law related to abortion that said that a doctor can legally abort a child only if there is a major threat to the life of the mother. Now some of these women, took the law in the literal sense of it and created a major threat to their lives  (which led to death in many cases). These women used hangers and others such objects to scratch the inner walls of their uterus and came to the hospital with heavy bleeding. Now this fell very much under the definition of what the law stated and the doctors went forward with abortions. Horrid right? Well, not horrible enough according to some people. In fact, the reality that so many women die of unsafe abortions is still not being dealt with properly. If we vehemently support life, we also need to take into account the lives of these women.

There is simply no right way of looking at the problem. If you look at it from the pro-lifer’s view, you might think that we are indeed causing a holocaust (the violence however, is not justified). When seen from the pro-choice’s view, you might wonder why we as a society, are so harsh on women that we don’t even care about their lives. However, religion and science should be kept away from each other, if we want our thoughts to be rational. Religion, a set of rules of on how life should be, is essential for a society (I’m not talking about any particular religion here). Religion prevents the society from crumbling by instilling fear. Fear that prevents wrong, fear that prevents crimes. However, the harsh reality is that our society is not perfect. There are people (some very religious ones too), who steal, murder, rape, lie, cheat and so on. In such a world, it is difficult to come up with a solution that is agreeable to both parties. However, the solution is essential and needed urgently at that.

You must be to comment.
  1. Dhruv Mohan

    A well written article with very valid points

More from Youth Ki Awaaz

Similar Posts

By Pradyumn Singh

By Md Ghalib Hussain

By Mayank Aswal

    If you do not receive an email within the next 5 mins, please check your spam box or email us at

      If you do not receive an email within the next 5 mins, please check your spam box or email us at

        If you do not receive an email within the next 5 mins, please check your spam box or email us at

        Wondering what to write about?

        Here are some topics to get you started

        Share your details to download the report.

        We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

        Share your details to download the report.

        We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

        An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

        Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

        Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

        The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

        Read more about his campaign.

        Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

        Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

        Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

        Read more about her campaign.

        MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

        With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

        Read more about her campaign. 

        A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

        As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

        Find out more about the campaign here.

        A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

        She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

        Read more about the campaign here.

        A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

        The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

        Read more about the campaign here.

        A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

        As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

        Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

        Find out more about her campaign here.

        Share your details to download the report.

        We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

        A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

        A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

        Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

        A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
        biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

        Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
        campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

        Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below