An eight-month pregnant woman died of complications after she allegedly swallowed pills to abort her foetus in Chennai. She had slipped in the bathroom, sustaining injuries, and was undergoing treatment for the same.
Kumari Kanjaka (23), a native of Odisha, was allegedly afraid of the delivery-related complications. She, along with her husband and niece, was staying at a rented house in Thanthai Periyar Nagar in Korattur, The Times of India reported.
As per police, Kumari and her niece Geetha went to their hometown in Odisha, where one of her relatives had died during labour.
After returning, she was undergoing medical treatment for the injuries suffered during the washroom accident. She was treated for the same and discharged. However, on September 25, she complained of severe stomach pain, following which she was admitted to Kilpauk Medical College and Hospital.
"Her condition was critical. There were perforations and infections in her womb. We informed the family that the uterus has to be removed," a senior doctor told The Times of India.
"A hysterectomy was attempted, but it all went in vain. She passed away within six hours of admission," he added.
Kumari's family had informed the doctors about the self-medication to abort the baby. The doctors warned against such activities and said that popping pills, that too in the seventh month of pregnancy, was highly threatening.
"Her uterus might have been fragile after the accident, irrational medications might have punctured it. However, the detailed autopsy will give us a clear picture," a doctor said.
Meanwhile, police have registered a case of unnatural death under Section 174 (III) (suspicious death) of CrPc, and the investigation is underway.
In a similar incident, a 25-year-old woman was hospitalised after her health condition deteriorated when she tried to abort her foetus at her home by watching YouTube videos. The incident was reported from Nagpur's Yashodhara Nagar area on Thursday, September 23. Reportedly, the woman was impregnated by a man who was sexually assaulting her on the pretext of marriage and had advised her to take this extreme step.
The police have now booked the accused, Shoeb Khan (30), a driver by profession, for rape and other offences, India Today reported.
"While trying to carry out the procedure on herself, her condition plummeted, and she had to be taken by her kin to a hospital. Khan has been arrested for rape," an official said, as per India Today.
The two reported incidents of self-abortion have occurred in just one week, which is alarming.
Unsafe Abortions On Rise In India
According to a News18 report, there are millions of women in India who prefer to abort their foetuses in a private set-up instead of a public health facility. An estimated 78 per cent of the 15.6 million abortions in the country happen in non-facility settings, primarily through medical abortion pills.
As per a 2016 study published in The Lancet, by the Guttmacher Institute and the World Health Organisation, unsafe abortion remains the third leading cause of maternal mortality in India, and nearly eight women die from complications due to unsafe abortion each day.
Notably, most of the patients treated for postabortion complications after taking medical abortion pills may not have needed treatment to complete their abortion if they had been imparted helpful information on how the method works and what to expect after taking the pills, and how to identify a complication.