A new study released by the Population Council, New Delhi shows that young, unmarried women in India encounter barriers to obtaining an abortion procedure early in their pregnancies. The study took place in Jharkand and Bihar, surveying 549 unmarried women who had an abortion between 2007 and 2008. Delayed recognition of pregnancy, lack of awareness that abortion is legal for unmarried women, and lack of support from partners were cited as factors that contributed to women accessing abortions later in their pregnancies.
The researchers believe these findings emphasize the need for increased sex education programs for unmarried young women in a variety of forums. Improved programs should work to bolster communication about sexual health between young women and their family members, especially their parents. These programs should not only include information about reproductive physiology, but also information on access and legal rights to abortion.