There is an extreme shortage of medical abortion drugs across the country, with acute crisis due to lack of stocks in Delhi, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh, a study revealed. The study conducted by the Foundation for Reproductive Health Services on 1,500 chemists showed that merely one per cent of the chemists in Punjab, two per cent in Tamil Nadu and Haryana, 6.5 per cent in Madhya Pradesh and 34 per cent in Delhi have stocked the abortion drug.
As per the study, the non-stocking of drugs seems to be linked with over-regulation by drug control authorities. About 79 per cent of chemists do not stock the drugs to avoid legal issues and excessive documentation requirements.
Nearly 34 per cent chemists in Delhi have stocked the abortion drug. Scrutiny and over-regulation, leading to non-availability of MA drugs, is a major cause of concern and is likely to result in millions of women being denied access to a safe abortion method. Chemists, however, do not seem to share this misconception, only about 10 per cent chemists across the states where the study was conducted, reported that MA drugs can be used for sex-selective termination of pregnancy.
Only 2 per cent chemists in Tamil Nadu have the abortion drug. While the purpose of the study was to verify the availability of drugs, the findings also reveal that Emergency Contraceptive Pills (ECP) are not being stocked regularly by chemists in Tamil Nadu.
Merely 2 per cent of the chemists in Haryana have stocked the abortion drug revealed in a study conducted by the Foundation for Reproductive Health Services. State-wise legal barriers continue to be a major reason for non-stocking of the abortion drugs.
Around 6.5 per cent of chemists in Madhya Pradesh have stocked the abortion drug.
The study conducted by the Foundation for Reproductive Health Services showed that merely 2 per cent of chemists in Punjab have stocked the abortion drug.