For years, women in India have been fighting a quiet battle for their reproductive rights. Despite being legal since 1971, abortion is still shrouded in stigma and misinformation – making it difficult for Indian women to access safe and affordable services. But that’s not stopping them from standing up for their right to choose. In this blog post, we’ll explore the challenges facing Indian women as they fight against cost and stigma to access abortion, and celebrate the brave individuals who are leading the way towards greater reproductive freedom.


In India, abortion is legal but often inaccessible, due to both the cost of the procedure and the stigma attached to it. According to a 2016 study, only one in four Indian women who wanted to terminate their pregnancies were able to do so.

The majority of Indian women who seek abortions are young, unmarried, and from low-income households. For these women, the barriers to accessing abortion are manifold. Many cannot afford the cost of the procedure, which can be as high as several thousand rupees (roughly $100 USD). Others may live in rural areas where there are no trained providers or clinics nearby. And many face opposition from their families or partners, who may view abortion as morally wrong or believe that it will bring shame on the family.

Despite these challenges, Indian women are fighting back against the barriers to accessing abortion. Activists are working to make abortion more affordable and easier to obtain, while also breaking down the stigma around the procedure. In 2017, for example, a group of activists launched an online platform that helps connect women with safe and affordable abortion services in their area. And earlier this year, India’s Supreme Court ruled that doctors cannot refuse to perform an abortion on religious grounds.

These efforts are slowly but surely making a difference for women across India. By expanding access to safe and affordable abortions, activists are helping empower women to make their own reproductive choices – choices that can have a profound impact on their lives and wellbeing.

History of Reproductive Rights in India

Since ancient times, Indian women have had some control over their reproductive rights. In the Vedic period, women were able to choose when and how often they wanted to bear children. There were no restrictions on abortion, and contraception was widely available. However, this changed with the arrival of British colonialism in the 18th century. The British imposed restrictions on abortion and contraception, and criminalized these practices. This led to a decline in the number of women who had access to these services.

The situation began to change in the mid-20th century, when the Indian government started to liberalize its stance on reproductive rights. In 1971, the government legalized abortion up to 20 weeks of pregnancy. This was followed by the legalization of contraception in 1978. These changes led to an increase in the number of women who had access to reproductive health services. However, there are still many barriers that prevent women from accessing these services.

The most common barrier is cost. Reproductive health services are not free in India, and they can be very expensive. This is a problem for many women, as they often cannot afford to pay for these services out of their own pockets. Another barrier is stigma. There is a lot of stigma surrounding reproductive health issues in India, which prevents many women from seeking help or information about these issues.

Despite these barriers, there are many organizations working to improve the situation for women in India. These organizations are fighting for better access to reproductive health services, and

Cost and Stigma Barriers to Accessing Abortion Services

Abortion has been a controversial topic in India for many years. While the country has legalised abortion, there are still many barriers that women face when trying to access these services. The main barriers are cost and stigma.

Cost is a major barrier as abortion services are not covered by insurance and can be quite expensive. This means that many women cannot afford to have an abortion. The other main barrier is stigma. There is a lot of shame and stigma surrounding abortion in India. This is because of the way it is seen as morally wrong by many people. This means that many women do not feel comfortable talking about their abortions or even seeking help from a doctor.

These barriers make it very difficult for women to access abortion services in India. However, there are some organisations working to break down these barriers and make it easier for women to get the help they need. One such organisation is the Federation of Indian Women’s Health Organisations (FIWHO). They work to provide affordable and safe abortions for women across India. They also provide support and information to help reduce the stigma around abortion.

Impact of the Judiciary on Reproductive Rights

In India, the battle for reproductive rights is being fought on many fronts. Women are fighting against the high cost of abortion, the stigma associated with it, and the lack of access to safe and legal abortion services.

The judiciary has played a significant role in shaping reproductive rights in India. In 2016, the Supreme Court issued a ruling that overturned a two-decade old law criminalizing abortion. The ruling was a victory for women’s rights activists who had long argued that the law was archaic and violated women’s right to privacy and bodily autonomy.

However, the fight for reproductive rights is far from over. Abortion is still not covered under most health insurance plans in India, making it inaccessible for many women. Moreover, there is a lack of trained providers and facilities offering safe and legal abortion services. This leaves women with no choice but to resort to unsafe methods of abortion, which often lead to complications and even death.

It is clear that much more needs to be done to ensure that all women in India have access to safe and affordable abortion services. The judiciary has played an important role in advancing reproductive rights in India, but there is still a long way to go before Indian women can truly enjoy these rights.

Government Initiatives to Increase Access to Abortion

In India, abortion is legal but access to safe and affordable abortion services is limited, especially in rural areas. The government has taken some initiatives to increase access to abortion, but more needs to be done.

The government has set up toll-free helplines where women can call for information and counseling on abortion. It has also launched a mobile app called mSafe that provides information on safe abortion providers in the area. In addition, the government has provided financial support to NGOs working on reproductive health issues, including abortion.

Despite these initiatives, much more needs to be done to make sure all women have access to safe and affordable abortion services. The government needs to do more to raise awareness about the availability of these services and make sure they are accessible in all parts of the country.

Resistance from Anti-Choice Organizations

Since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, which legalized abortion in the United States, there has been a continuous effort by anti-choice organizations to overturn it. In India, where abortion is legal, there is also resistance from these groups. They argue that abortion is morally wrong and that it should be illegal. They often use religion to support their claims.

There are many reasons why women in India choose to have an abortion. Some do not want to have a child out of wedlock. Others may be facing financial difficulties. There are also cases of rape and incest. Regardless of the reason, each woman should have the right to make her own decision about her body and her life.

Anti-choice groups often make false claims about abortion. They say that it is dangerous and that it will lead to medical problems for the woman later in life. These claims are not backed up by science. The truth is that abortions are safe and effective procedures when performed by trained medical professionals.

Abortion stigma is another major issue faced by women in India who want to terminate their pregnancies. There is a lot of shame and judgement associated with having an abortion. This can prevent women from seeking out the care they need. It is important to remember that everyone has a different opinion on abortion and that no one should be made to feel ashamed or guilty for their decision.


The fight for reproductive rights in India continues to be an uphill battle. While there have been some victories in recent years with the decriminalization of abortion, much still needs to be done to ensure women’s access remains protected and unfettered by cost and stigma. Fortunately, there are numerous grassroots organizations that are actively advocating on behalf of Indian women and fighting for their right to make informed decisions about their own bodies. It is our duty as citizens of this world to support these advocates, so that the future generations can live in a society where all people – regardless of gender or socioeconomic status – have equal access to quality healthcare services including safe abortion options.