Archive for June 27th, 2007

Nepal: Signs of Progress

Things have been changing in the tucked-away nation of Nepal – foremost in the political realm, since peace talks between Maoist rebels and the central government first began, but in other spheres as well.

Salon.com’s Broadsheet reports today some hopeful news about the advancement of womens’ reproductive rights in the Himalayan state. It was only recently that abortion became legal in Nepal – before then, many women died from procedures that were unsanitary or unsafe, or were jailed for even seeking out the operation. Things have obviously begun to shift:

Cut to today. Five years after Nepal’s Parliament voted to allow abortion under most circumstances up to 18 weeks gestation, international reproductive rights organization Ipas reports that maternal mortality has plummeted. Dr. B.K. Subedi, director of Nepal’s Family Health Division, “has said that availability and use of safe abortion care might be one of the factors in the significant decrease.” [Read full]

It would be interesting to know what kind of internal political debate this change has stirred within the nation, and whether it is as hostile as the discussion here in the U.S. or in the Catholic nation of Portugal. Either way, it’s good to see positive progress in another corner of the world.


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