Realizing reproductive rights and choice

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Anju Malhotra, Laura Nyblade, Sulabha Parasuraman, Kerry MacQuarrie, Namita Kashyap, Sunayana Walia

This report presents results from an innovative, large-scale, household-based study designed to explore the determinants of women’s reproductive choices and behaviors in Madhya Pradesh, India. The study piloted a groundbreaking survey approach developed to more accurately capture a comprehensive picture of women’s reproductive lives. In total, data were collected between 2000 and 2002 on 11,341 individual pregnancies from 2,444 women ages 15 to 39.

Findings show that the vast majority of women had limited reproductive choices and rights despite the fact that abortion has been legal in India since 1972. The data also point to the unequivocal link between contraceptive access and abortion.