Assessing the transformative potential of medical abortion pills for women in India

Priya Nanda, International Center for Research on Women (ICRW)
Alka Barua, Foundation for Research in Health Systems (FRHS)
Suchitra Dalvie, Independent Consultant
Shuchita Mundle, College for Women, Nagpur
Ashutosh Paturkar, College for Women, Nagpur

Almost 9% of maternal deaths in India are a result of unsafe abortion. Medical abortion pills are envisaged to increase access, choice and safety, thus reducing unsafe abortions. Through the choice and control the pills offer, they may empower women to exercise their reproductive rights and thus play a transformative role in their lives. Transformation is defined as the translation of the product at the point of introduction in the market into its highest level of social use and relevance. In this study, value chain analysis was used to identify the policy, market and regulatory constraints and existing distribution channels governing the medical abortion pills. Women’s access and utilization was studied in the context of provider attitude and practice, to understand if MA could transform women’s options for their fertility control. Overall findings suggest that information asymmetry mark and affect the transformative role of MA in India.

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Presented in Session 22: Abortion in India