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Local Governments, NGOs Should Ensure Awareness Of, Access To Safe Abortions In Nepal, Where Abortion Is Legal

Witness: Is abortion legal in Nepal? Many Nepali women don’t know the answer.
Tara Todras-Whitehill, photographer, multimedia journalist, and  founder of Vignette Interactive

“…Abortion has been legal in Nepal for over 15 years, but a study released by Nepal’s Center for Research on Environment Health and Population Activities (CREHPA) earlier this year concluded that over half of women are still getting illegal or unsafe abortions. … Even without the added restrictions of the Mexico City policy, globally, abortion is a complicated topic. In Nepal, for example, where the procedure has been legal for over a decade, women still face many issues, such as stigma related to abortion, trouble getting medicine at authorized clinics, distrust of governmental hospitals, or even just difficulty understanding what options are available to them. … [A]lthough Nepali women might have access to legal abortion, they still don’t have full, safe reproductive rights. In order for legislative action to be effective, local governments and NGOs must make a prolonged and concerted effort to combat the problems around this issue. Without the devotion of time and energy, laws and free services go unheard, unread, and unused” (9/26).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.