Two young people, involved with IPPF’s youth and abortion stigma project in India, write about their experiences of sharing information in their local community. This post is reproduced from the FPA India blogsite.
Chandmani – Peer Educator
I work as a peer educator in the Murhu project of Family Planning Association of India. Before working with FPA India, concepts such as abortion, contraception, copper-T, etc. were alien to me. Yes, I had heard of ‘condom’ somewhere, but how it is used, its benefits, were unknown to me. I didn’t even know about STDs and their risks. When FPA India came to Murhu, they explained to us about the basket of contraceptive choices, women’s right to abortion, and everything associated to sexual and reproductive health and rights. Abortion, especially, was something nobody spoke about or even accessed because of the stigma associated with ‘ending a pregnancy’.
All the information provided by FPA India helped broaden my viewpoint and motivated me to join them as a peer educator. Now, I support abortion as a choice and even tell people in my community, about how it is alright to opt for abortion in case of an unwanted pregnancy. I am glad that I am getting a chance to learn so much from FPA India.
Abortion, especially, was something nobody spoke about or even accessed because of the stigma associated with ‘ending a pregnancy’.
Dolly – Peer educator
I work with FPA India as a peer educator in the Khunti district of Jharkhand. Earlier, I used to consider abortion a sin and did not have much knowledge about contraception either. But, it was the information and services provided by FPA India that put an end to my superstitious beliefs. And now, I take so much pride in associating myself with FPA India and talking about its initiatives in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights. As a peer educator, I work towards destigmatising abortion in our village, especially by educating young women and newly-weds. Every time I support someone to opt for contraception, it gives me a lot of happiness because I feel like I am helping in bringing about a change.