Pakistan passes Reproductive Healthcare and Rights Act

The National Assembly of Pakistan has unanimously passed a private member bill sponsored by  Dr. Attiya Inayatullah the Reproductive Health care and Rights Bill, 2013.   One of the concerns underlying passage of the bill was the high rate of mortality associated with childbirth.  [Daily Mail]

Population control and abortion in Pakistan

Sindh, the second largest province in Pakistan, is setting up a Population Council for the purpose of implementing a population control programme.  Among the concerns voiced by supporters of the plan is that most people are reluctant to adopt contraception, and that many medical professionals object to abortion for religious reasons. The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Pakistan (SOGP) organized a seminar on abortion, during which a spokesman for the Society stated that abortion is “purely a health issue and must not be confused with religion and culture.”  The assertion was inconsistent with a statement made at the conference that Islamic scholars permit abortion during the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.  This at least implies some religious opposition to abortion after 16 weeks, and that the procedure is not “purely” a health issue. [Indo-Asian News Service; Pakistan Today]