Medical Association of India blasts draft proposal to allow non-physicians to perform chemical abortions

By Dave Andrusko

Indian_medical_association_logoIn the March digital edition of National Right to Life News, Dr. Randall K. O’Bannon, NRLC director of education, explained that the Indian health ministry had made revisions on an amended “Medical Termination of Pregnancy” bill being sent to the cabinet. The amendment would allow Ayush doctors to do “non-invasive procedures on women seeking to terminate pregnancy”–in other words, chemical abortions.

(“Ayush” is an acronym for several alternative or traditional Indian medical practices – Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy.)

But this highly controversial proposal just ran into The Indian Medical Association (IMA), which “expressed shock” over the draft bill, the Times of India reported over the weekend.

Delhi Medical Council member Anil Bansal said, “This will simply put lives at risk,” labeling the idea “illegal” and “quackery,” according to reporter Bindu Shajan Perappadan.

So where did the idea come from? Not surprisingly from a 2012 study by the pro-abortion Population Council which (of course) concluded that “trained nurses and ayurveda physicians could provide chemical abortion as safely as MBBS doctors.” [MBBS is the acronym for Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery.]

The IMA called the Population Council report “an unscientific study.” The IMA stated

“In 2012 when the MTP [Medical Termination of Pregnancy] Act, which does not allow anyone other than an MBBS doctor registered under the Act to conduct abortions, was in place, how could ayurveda doctors and nurses carry out MTPs as per the study conducted by the Population Council? This smells of malpractices in the medical field carried out by members of the above fields.”

The Indian Medical Association went further, the Times of India reported. Permitting “non-MBBS doctors and paramedical staff to conduct abortions is also against the provisions of the Clinical Establishments Act, which does not allow even paramedical personnel trained by doctors to conduct medical procedures,” according to Bindu Shajan Perappadan.

The IMA has maintained that

“if approved, this will endanger the lives of thousands of patients opting for MTP, as the above medical and paramedical professionals are neither qualified nor equipped to handle medical emergencies….”

Editor’s note. We are reposting Dr. O’Bannon’s analysis today.