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ABORTION LAWS IN INDIA

This article is written by ANANYA GUPTA,BA.LLB 1rt YEAR during her internship at LeDroit India.

INTRODUCTION
Abortion is the termination of a pregnancy by removal or expulsion of an embryo or fetus.An abortion that occurs without intervention is known as a miscarriage or “spontaneous abortion”; these occur in approximately 30% to 40% of pregnancies.This can occur spontaneously as a miscarriage, or be artificially induced through chemical, surgical or other means. Commonly, “abortion” refers to an induced procedure at any point in the pregnancy; medically, it is defined as a miscarriage or induced termination before twenty weeks gestation, which is considered nonviable.There are certain laws definedfor Abortion. Abortion laws is defined under Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act in 1971.


HISTORY
● Code Before 1971, abortion was not legalized and in fact, was criminalized under section 312 of the Indian Penal Code Before 1971, abortion was notlegalized and in fact, was criminalized under section 312 of the Indian Penal
● Shantilal Shah said that this law needed to be liberalised, as it was too restrictive.
● This was what led to India’s first laws on abortion, where the termination of a pregnancy would be legal, if qualified medical practitioners allowed it.This act, though progressive, was less a result of the women’s movement in India and more of a means to control the rapidly growing population of India, especially in the lower socio-economic sections of the country.

About MTP Act:
○ The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 (“MTP Act”) was passed due to the progress made in the field of medical science with respect to safer abortions.


○ In a historic move to provide universal access reproductive health services, India amended the MTP Act 1971 to further empower women by providing comprehensive abortion care to all.


○ The new Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Act 2021 expands the access to safe and legal abortion services on therapeutic, eugenic, humanitarian and social grounds to ensure universal access to comprehensive care.

Key Provisions of the MTP Amendment Act, 2021:
● Termination due to Failure of Contraceptive Method or Device:
Under the Act, a pregnancy may be terminated up to 20 weeks by a married woman in the case of failure of contraceptive method or device. It allows unmarried women to also terminate a pregnancy for this reason.


THE MEDICAL TERMINATION ACT OF 1971 AND THE MEDICAL TERMINATION ACT OF 2021
Recently, in a case before the Supreme Court, a woman >successfully obtained direction for medical termination of pregnancy (abortion) after 24 weeks on a plea that she was raped by her boyfriend on the false promise of marriage. In another case, >the Delhi High Court intervened directing medical examination for fitness for abortion responding to the poignant tale of a 16-year-old kidnapped by unknown persons, sexually abused by them for two years, and finally found abandoned near the Delhi University campus. The orders in both cases were beyond the permissible period in the >Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act (MTP Act) . There is an outcry for change in law for easy availability of the option to abort without court intervention. Abortion is an exception In India, the transition from a regime of proscription against abortion by treating it as a criminal offence liable for punishment under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) to legitimising the practice as a health and family planning measure through the enactment of the MTP Act of 1971 had been fairly easy, unlike in the West, where the movement towards legalising abortion has been tumultuous involving major heated public debates.

CONCLUSION

ABORTION IS AN EXCEPTION.IT’S IMPORTANT TO DISCUSS ABOUT ABORTION IN THIS ERA BECUASE WE
HEAR CASES WHERE CONSENT IS NOT TAKEN, CASES OS SEXUAL HARRASMENT, RAPE AND MARTIAL
RAPE. SOME MEDICAL EMERGENCY CAN HARM THE MOTHER WHERE ABORTION IS ONLY CHOICE.

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