CommonHealth Think Tank on Abortion Rights

Abortion is a sensitive as well as complex issue affected by a range of socio-cultural, legal, policy, systemic and individual level issues. Advocacy for individual’s right to safe abortion therefore needs inputs from a range of individuals with interdisciplinary backgrounds, especially those with expertise in law, policy and programme analysis, service delivery, research, documentation and advocacy.

CommonHealth, under its ARROW project has constituted a Think Tank which will meet at a defined interval to guide evidence creation and analysis of situations and help in coming up with innovative ideas and solutions to address emerging issues. This platform will not only introduce innovative solutions but also generate debate on the critical issues in order to engage and influence policy makers, the media and other key stakeholders.

Specific objectives:
  1. Analysis of existing ecosystem – identification of existing and potential barriers and opportunities for securing safe abortion as a right for individuals in need; and
  2. Deliberate and propose contextually aligned solutions and strategies including legal, policy, programmatic and systemic reforms to address challenges to securing safe abortion as a right for individuals in need
Expected outputs:
  1. Policy briefs, opinion pieces or blogs
  2. Annual report on state of concerned issue / topic
Working model:

Members: Members with expertise in law, gender issues, health programmes, policies, health system both government & private, research, advocacy etc. Members will deliberate on identified / emerging issues or propose issues for discussion based on their experiences / expertise.


For the first-year secretariat will be with CH. During this period CH will coordinate, manage and finance all related administrative work including correspondence, arranging meetings (virtual), documenting minutes, development of draft documents, maintenance of drop box / Google docs, co-ordination and publication of briefs, opinion pieces, blogs and annual reports and dissemination of these through various platforms – in consultation with members. After a year the secretariat will move to another institution.

Think tank members 

Co-ordinator: Dr. Alka Barua, CommonHealth Abortion Theme LeadAdvocacy: Ms. Rupsa Mallik, CREA
Legal expert: Dipika Jain, Jindal Global Law SchoolEthics & accountability: Ms. Sangeeta Rege, CEHAT
Programs: Dr. Kalpana Apte, FPAIResearch: Ms. Shveta Kalyanwala, Independent Consultant 
Gender & Rights: Dr. Manisha Gupte, MASUMYouth: Dr. Souvik Pyne, The YP Foundation/CommonHealth
Policy making: Dr. Manisha Malhotra, Ex. Deputy Commissioner, MoHFWTechnical expert: Dr. Suchitra Dalvie, CommonHealth
Media: Ms. Menaka Rao, Independent journalistAcademics: Dr. Sundari Ravindran, CommonHealth
 Communication: Ms. Paromita Vohra, Agents of Ishq Grassroots organisation: Tejaswi Sevekari, SAHELI