In a big win for healthcare in India, Supreme Court ruled in favor of abortion for all women – Married or unmarried – making it a constitutional right, months after US top court overturned ‘Roe vs. Wade’ – a 50-year-old law that allowed women in the country a federal right to have an abortion.
The Supreme Court of India on Thursday ruled in a significant ruling that it is unconstitutional to distinguish between married and unmarried women. termination of pregnancy On some exceptional grounds when the fetus is between 20-24 weeks.
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While this is a huge victory with the emphasis on female autonomy in accessing abortion, it is also true that like other medical procedures, abortion can take a toll on a woman’s mind and body, especially considering that There is a certain social stigma attached to it. For this. We reached out to some experts to understand how important it is to take care of emotional health before and after a miscarriage.
According to Dr Thejaswini J, Consultant – Obstetrician and Gynecologist, Motherhood Hospitals, Electronic City, Bangalore, while abortion performed by qualified doctors is safe and carries very little risk, physical, mental and emotional impact “case- two-case”. Base”.
“Some women experience strong emotions and mood swings after a miscarriage, mainly due to hormonal changes. Hormone levels stabilize Menstrual Return. Choosing to have an abortion can be an emotionally challenging experience. Women can feel extreme relief and sadness at the same time. They may also experience anxiety, grief, a sense of loss and sleep disorders. This is natural, but if negative feelings persist for a long time, they should not be ignored, and help should be sought,” she told this outlet.
Adding to this, Dr. Prerna Kohli, clinical psychologist and founder of MindTribe.in said indianexpress.com that these feelings may occur immediately after the procedure or sometime after. “It is important to watch for signs of prolonged grief, which can occur when feelings of normal grief are avoided and unprocessed. Cultural perceptions of miscarriage as well as feelings of guilt can make the process painful. could be,” she said.
What should women keep in mind before having an abortion?
Kohli said it is important to prepare yourself mentally before the process – and in any other aspect that you think is important. “Some amount of anxiety and fear is normal; Try to understand what thoughts and beliefs are making you feel that way. It’s important to let go of expectations about how you should feel. Whatever the emotional outcome, know that it is okay to feel those feelings and take some time to recover not only physically, but mentally as well,” she said, being kind to herself throughout the process. needs to be.
Dr Thejaswini explained that women should educate themselves about the different types of abortion. “Pregnancy can be terminated medically through pills or surgical procedures. Your doctor will recommend the appropriate method based on your needs and the stage of pregnancy,” she said.
The doctor said that one can discuss their doubts with the specialist, asking them about the risks, what needs to be done to prepare them, and the financial cost. etc., in addition to trusting and seeking the support of those they trust – spouse, partner, friends and family.
“Remember, deciding to have an abortion doesn’t mean you don’t want or love kids. People get abortions for a variety of reasons. Consult a gynecologist and the only way to terminate your pregnancy is Choose safer methods – don’t fall for any quick fixes or home remedies, or anything that can put your health at risk,” explained Aruba Kabir, a mental health counselor and founder of Enso Wellness.
Dr Thejaswini said planning after a miscarriage is also essential. “Ask your doctor what items you will need to stock up on at home after the procedure. This can be pain medication, heating pads for cramps, pads to control bleeding, etc. Take time off work to allow your body to recover.
Things to keep in mind after the procedure
Dr Kohli said that various studies have proved that does not cause miscarriage mental health problems, but they also cause a certain amount of stress due to stigma, lack of knowledge and lack of access. “Get some sort of social support before, during, and after the procedure. Talking to this person can bring a sense of relief. They can also practice journaling regularly or keep a thought diary.”
Aruba agreed and said, “Try to imagine you already have abortion, It can also help to imagine that you have moved on with the pregnancy. Often imagining what life must have been like, you find comfort in the decision you make. Since miscarriage is an emotionally taxing process, indulging in habits that help you heal physically, mentally and spiritually is a great way to reconnect with yourself. Start taking light walks, doing things that make you happy, meditating, etc.”
Dealing with the social stigma of abortion
Dr Thejaswini explained that although every woman in the country has the right to a safe and legal abortion, many still face the stigma attached to it. “Women seeking abortions are shamed, bullied and marginalized. This in turn can have devastating consequences on both their physical and mental health.”
She added that this stigma often forces women to hide their pregnancies; This prevents them from accessing safe healthcare for abortion, especially for unmarried women.
Dr Kohli said that the common question that comes up is, ‘What will people say when they learn about it?’. “The decision to go ahead with the process weighs heavily on the mental health of the woman; Stigma just adds to it, giving rise to feelings of stress, anxiety and even depression.”
“This is why some people feel compelled to carry on an unwanted pregnancy or have a risky abortion, which can be harmful to the mother and her baby,” Aruba said.
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