Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights
Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights are important issues for the world society. Everybody
has the right to accessible, affordable and adequate health care. Millions of women every year seek to terminate their unwanted
pregnancies. According to World Health Organization report there are 28
abortions for every 1,000 women of childbearing age globally. In 2008, the estimated annual number of deaths
from unsafe abortion worldwide declined from 56,000 in 2003 to 47,000 in 2008.
Complications from unsafe abortion accounted for an estimated 13% of all
maternal deaths worldwide in both years. Regarding the index of reproductive health Armenia considerably yields to
the European Union indexes. Suffice it to note that the rate of maternal and
child death is several times higher than that of the developed countries.
surgical abortion remains one of the widely used methods for terminating
unwanted pregnancy. According to the Armenian National Statistical Service data for 2010 the induced abortion
rate is 28 per 1,000 women. Enlargement of induced abortion services is one of
the important steps in improving quality of women’s reproductive health care. Women's
Rights Center was the first to introduce medical abortion as an alternative way
of terminating unwanted pregnancies. Medical abortion is a type of
non-surgical abortion in which pharmaceutical drugs are used to induce
abortion. All activities of Women's Rights Center on safe abortion are realized
with the permission and in cooperation with the Ministry of Health of RA.
Starting from 2007 Women's Rights Center has organized trainings with the obstetrician-gynecologists
in Yerevan, Gyumri and Vanadzor on the 1st trimester (9-12 weeks) unwanted
pregnancy termination, as well as raised
awareness through publications on the issue and its dissemination among the above
mentioned specialists. Medicines which are necessary for medical abortion - mifepristone and misoprostol - were registered in Armenia in 2007 and 2008
accordingly in cooperation with the Ethics Committee of Yerevan
State Medical University after Mkhitar Heratsi (YSMU). It
is about three decades that medical abortion with the usage of mifepristone and
misoprostol has been proved to be safe, effective, and acceptable option for
terminating unwanted pregnancy. In 2013 monitoring and evaluation research
studies on 1st trimester medical abortion have been implemented in 5
hospitals in Yerevan,
Gyumri and Vanadzor.
From April 2014 Women's Rights Center has implemented all the necessary
work for starting a new clinical research study on termination of pregnancy in
2nd trimester (13-22 weeks). It must be noted that according to the
legislation of the Republic of Armenia second trimester abortion can be
realized only by medical or social indications. Mifepriston and misoprostol have
been reregistered for usage in the second trimester medical abortion clinical
study and the corresponding package of the documents was also developed for the
approval of the Ethics Committee of YSMU. After receiving positive conclusion
from the Ethics Commitee the above mentioned clinical study has been launched
and now it is implemented at the Republican Institute of Reproductive Health,
Perinatology, Obstetrics and Gynecology in Yerevan (RIRHPOG). The aim of this
research study is investigation on medical abortion with the use of
mifepristone and misoprostol, results and success rate, its acceptability and
feasibility for women in Armenia.
Within the framework of the project a new Clinical Guideline on organization and delivery of medical aid in medical abortion (1st and 2nd trimesters) was elaborated by the Working Group and published for its further dissemination among health providers.
It’s important to note that
from August 1st, 2014, according to the decree of the Ministry of
Health of the Republic of Armenia, sale of the misoprostol (cytotec) without
prescription is prohibited. The necessity for such decision was stipulated by
the wrong regimen of the drugs usage by women at home.