ABSTRACT

This chapter discusses the role of three other proximate determinants of fertility in India namely: marriage, postpartum amenorrhoea and abortion on which some data are available from various sources and whose impact can be measured. Empirical population-based data on factors such as natural or pathological sterility and frequency of intercourse are hard to collect and are generally unavailable. In 1964, the Ministry of Health and Family Planning appointed Shah Committee because of high maternal mortality and morbidity in India caused partly by unsafe abortion. After reviewing the legislations in several countries and consulting medical practitioners, lawyers, bureaucrats the committee submitted its report in 1966 and the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act was passed in 1971. After the implementation of the MTP Act in 1972, for nearly two decades, there was hardly any discussion on abortion policy, or monitoring of the quality of abortion services provided in the public or private health facilities.