Indian origin Dr Jasbir Ahluwalia conducts 67 abortions day before Texas law takes over - Vibes Of India

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Indian origin Dr Jasbir Ahluwalia conducts 67 abortions day before Texas law takes over

| Updated: September 28, 2021 17:37

On August 31, in Texas, before 666 new laws were implemented, Dr Jasbir Ahluwalia, 83, started his race against time. The one law that made abortion very difficult for the women living in the Lone Star state. At a critical time, Dr Ahluwalia who completed his medical studies from Baroda conducted 67 abortions at his clinic in Fort Worth in Texas from 8 am until midnight on August 31.

The 67 cases at his busy clinic included complicated and advanced cases as well. The last patient that day was a nurse in Dallas who was eight weeks pregnant, and Dr Ahluwalia managed to give her a pill at quarter to 12.
The Texas legislation prohibits abortion from six weeks into a pregnancy by giving any individual the right to sue doctors who perform an abortion after a fetus’ heartbeat is detected. It is usually a period when most women do not know that they are pregnant.

Dr Jasbir Ahluwalia

There has been a sharp decline in the number of women coming for abortions at Ahluwalia’s clinic; only half of the women qualifying ends up coming to his clinic. He has been practising medicine in the US since he arrived in 1977.

Ahluwalia believes that this is a regressive law and questions the difference between Taliban and Texas’ legislators. He even mentions that no such law affecting a man has been passed till now and talks about the law’s nature of controlling the destiny and healthcare of women. Those who have crossed six weeks are guided to clinics in the neighbouring states such as New Mexico and Oklahoma, but many do not have the time or resources required to make the trip.

Ahluwalia decided to train as an obstetrician-gynaecologist when he was working as a doctor in Uganda’s capital Kampala in the 1960s and early 1970s. A young mother of two died at a hospital due to septic shock syndrome after having an illegal abortion. At that time, abortion was banned in all other African countries but one. During this time, he would also see 8-9 women coming to the hospital daily with bleeding caused by illegal back-alley abortions.

The 83-year-old doctor worries that Texas may soon witness a rise in illegal abortions.

Dr Ahluwalia was born in Kenya, where his father had migrated from Punjab in the 1930s to work as administrative staff in the country’s railway when it was under British rule. The family moved to Uganda, where he and his siblings completed their formal education.

He studied medicine at the Baroda Medical College from 1960 to 1968. He met his late wife, who was a nurse there itself. A part of his internship was to serve in villages and small towns across India. He credits his thorough training in Baroda for his success and is proud of that decision. He went back to Uganda and worked at a hospital in Kampala for a few years until he was expelled from the country after military dictator Idi Amin took over in 1972.

About 20 years ago, he gave up his work as an Ob-gyn to focus solely on abortions due to the death of a woman in Uganda who did not get to spend time with her two children. He chooses to stay within the new law in Texas, and he hopes that the court will overturn it or the women will revolt.

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