Published: 2017-01-14

Awareness regarding abortions and medical termination of pregnancy act among medical students in Puducherry, India

Lal Bahadur Palo, Neelima Singh Chauhan, T. Parvathi, Ramesh Chand Chauhan


Background: Maternal mortality is an important indicator of women’s health and social well-being. According to the WHO report,each year, an estimated 190 women for every 100,000 live births die due to maternal causes. In India, unsafe abortion and related complications accounts for 9% of all maternal deaths. Abortion was made legal in India by the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) act, which was enacted by Indian Parliament in the year 1971. But the number of unsafe abortions has not declined.

Methods:A present study was conducted by the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of Pondicherry Institute of Medical Sciences, in Puducherry, India. All undergraduate students of VIIth semester MBBS participated in the study. A pre-designed semi-structured questionnaire was used to collect information regarding the awareness and perceptions on abortion care and Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act in India. Data were entered in Microsoft Excel 2007. Averages were calculated and chi square test was applied to find the significant difference.

Results: Among a total of 75 participants, 41(54.7%) were female and 34 (45.3%) were male students. Majority of the students (97.3%) were aware of the fact that unsafe abortions are a serious health problem in India and all of the students (100.0%), were aware of the MTP Act of India. But only 36.0% students were aware of the fact, that consent from husband was not required to undergo abortion. To reduce the number of unsafe abortions in India majority of the medical students (45.3%) were of the opinion that easy access to MTP services in the community is an effective measure.

Conclusions: Legalization of abortions through the MTP Act in India resulted in a considerable decrease in maternal mortality through the decline in abortions but it has failed to ensure effective implementation and access to medically safe abortion services. Training in basic contraceptive counseling and abortion care should be incorporated in basic medical education in India.



Abortions, MTP Act of India, Undergraduates

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