ndia’s Family Planning programme was one of the first in the world. Though it began in 1951, it was slow to prevent the large number of unwanted and unplanned pregnancies in the country. Back then, abortion was a criminal offence. But a large number of women were resorting to terminate their pregnancies on their own or through backstreet untrained providers. This was resulting in high maternal mortalities (deaths) and morbidities. To protect the health of the women, a bold legislation, Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act (MTP) 1971, was enacted. It came into force on April 1, 1972. However, nothing much was achieved in this direction.Abortion remained shrouded in mystery and there were negative connotations to its provision by the doctors. Dr. Sudesh B. Dhal, an obstetrician gynaecologist, who had returned in 1976 from the United Kingdom after specialized training, was aghast to find that 50% of gynaecological beds in the hospitals were being occupied by women who had resorted to an abortion and were facing severe complications. Dr. Dhall decided to set up a ‘not for profit’ organization, dedicated to providing safe and affordable abortions as per the MTP Act.


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  • July 15, 2024 11:41 am local time

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