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August 2019

Stud Fam Plann. 1993 Jul-Aug; 24(4): 241-51.

Induced abortion in Indonesia.

Hull TH, Sarwono SW, Widyantoro N.

Demography Program, Australian National University.

Induced abortion is one of the most difficult sociomedical problems facing the Indonesian government. While well-known in traditional society, the practice was discouraged by all Indonesian religious groups, and forbidden by the Dutch colonial authorities. Although abortion was technically illegal under the criminal code, a judicial interpretation in the early 1970s permitted medical professionals to offer the procedure so long as they were discreet and careful. The numbers of medical abortions carried out in Indonesia rose dramatically, and there was evidence of matching declines in the incidence of morbidity and mortality caused by dangerous illegal procedures. Medical and community groups campaigned for a more liberal abortion law to protect legal practitioners and stamp out illegal traditional practices. Their efforts appeared to bear fruit in the draft Health Law, but when the law was passed by the legislature in late 1992, the issue was again clouded by contradictions and inconsistencies.


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