Voice of Fetus Nepal

Women's Health

Models of fetuses that are supposed to show different stages of pregnancy are seen during a lecture of Soman Rai, a pastor who founded the non-profit Voice of Fetus Nepal at a small church in the village of Shilaprabat, Sindhupalcholk district, Nepal, July 14, 2017.
Nepal legalized abortion over 15 years ago, and there are around 1,300 authorized abortion clinics operating in Nepal. Early 2017 the Nepali government made all abortion and contraception services free at public facilities but surprisingly many women in the rural areas don’t know about the change.


Soman Rai, a pastor who started Voice of Fetus Nepal works in these remote areas to promote the message that abortion is murder. He lectures at churches, schools and at meetings with local community leaders all over the country. He comes with a black box that contains four fetal dolls — he passes these lifelike models around at every presentation he does so that people will see exactly what he means when he starts talking about abortion. Critics say Rai, whose organization is mainly funded by international donations including from the United States, is undermining a government push for access to safe and legal abortion. I received a grant from the European Journalism Centre to cover this issue, and the article was published on CNN.