Trending: Call for Papers Volume 4 | Issue 4: International Journal of Advanced Legal Research [ISSN: 2582-7340]



“There is no freedom, there is no equality, there is no absolute human dignity, and it is possible for women until they switch and demand control of their own bodies and reproductive process. Abortion rights are a matter of personal discretion and conscious choice for worried women.”

Abortion is artificial termination of conception as a universal miracle that has existed since time immemorial and is prevalent[1] for every conceivable cause, from health to accessibility “Reproductive rights rest on the recognition of the basic right of all couples and individuals and the information, number and space and timing between children to decide and do so independently and responsibly. And the right to achieve the highest levels of sexual and reproductive health”. Yet, as we have seen many articles in academic journals describe criminal abortions identifying the person who conducted it, and the place where it was performed. Legally, they are required to report these to the police administration, at least after treatment is given and certainly if the woman dies. Women’s reproductive rights may include some or all of the following: legal and safe abortion rights; Right to birth control; freedom from forced sterilization and contraception; The right to access good quality reproductive healthcare; And the right to education and the right to make free and informed fertility choices. Reproductive rights may include the right to receive education about sexually transmitted infections and other aspects of sexuality and protection from practices such as female genital mutilation. The International Executive Committee (IEC) of Amnesty International has implemented “A new position on sexual and reproductive rights that includes support for abortion under special circumstances, in the context of our work to prevent serious human rights abuses against women and girls. This new policy, which grew out of our campaign to stop violence against women, and the tragic circumstances in which women too often find themselves, will enable the organization: women seeking safe, early medical termination of pregnancy in cases of rape Support, incest or when a woman’s life or health is in serious danger. Urge governments to provide medical care to women experiencing complications from unsafe abortion; Resist imprisonment and other criminal penalties for abortion against women and their providers”. Modern jurisprudence on reproductive rights is considered by two features: contraception and abortion rights are protected from only active governmental abridgement and the alternative choice to become a parent, despite dicta to the contrary, has virtually no constitutionally-based protection and little statutory protection. Consistent application of strict scrutiny to abridgements of the fundamental right of reproductive choice would yield a more socially progressive and legally defensible jurisprudence than contemporary common law and judicial practice[2]. The relationship between induced abortion and mental health is an area of political controversy. Abortion is associated with both negative feelings and clinically significant disorders among some women, but similar problems are also associated with carrying an unwanted pregnancy to term. Given these two alternatives, the best evidence suggests that a single, first trimester induced abortion for adult women poses no greater mental-health risks than carrying unwanted pregnancies to term. The evidence is less clear in situations such as repeat abortions, and late termination of pregnancy due to fetal abnormality. Among those women who do experience mental health issues, the American Psychological Association’s Task Force on Mental Health and Abortion concluded that these issues are most likely related to pre-existing risk factors, including “terminating a pregnancy that is wanted or meaningful, perceived pressure from others to terminate a pregnancy, perceived opposition to the abortion from partners, family or friends, lack of perceived social support from others and various personality traits and a history of mental health problems prior to the pregnancy.”

Termination of pregnancy was named as fetal killing. But due to changes in time and technology, nowadays this right has been legally approved by most people in the country after the famous decision of Roe v. Wade by the US Supreme Court, which  is the most politically significant the Supreme Court ruling in history is one of Reviving national politics, dividing the nation into “pro-choice” and “pro-life” camps, and motivating grassroots activism. It is a milestone in the United States Supreme Court’s decision that most laws against abortion violate the constitutional right to privacy, thus overturning all state laws or prohibiting abortion that is inconsistent with the decision Jone Roe, the plaintiff wanted to end her pregnancy because she argued that it was the result of rape. Relying on the current state of medical knowledge, the decision established a system of trimesters, which attempts to balance the legitimate interests of the state with the constitutional rights of the individual. The court considered that the state could not restrict a woman’s right to an abortion during the first trimester, the state could regulate the abortion process during the second trimester “in ways that relate to maternal health,” and the third trimester in, first delimiting the viability of the fetus, a state may choose to prohibit abortion or even prosecute it as it sees fit. Roe v. Wade in response to several states enacted laws limiting abortion, including laws requiring parental consent for minors to have abortions, but protests still exist and people believe it should be legally banned. The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 is considered by many to be one of the significant land marks of India’s social legislation. Its supporters have described it as a key, opening the doors for reform and social change[3]. More cautious empiricists point to the gap between other social statutes, such as the Abolition of Dowry Act, 1961, and reality, while some critics describe the MTPA as a tool for encouraging immorality in society. The MTP Act is based on the UK Abortion Act, 1967. In The UK Abortion act, abortion can do on the consent of Medical Practitioner only. At that time, it forms not available as Right to choose and Right to Abortion. After the Roe case17 Right to choose is a part of Right to Privacy. Rapid growth of population remains one of the important problems of Indian society, despite efforts by the government to control it through various family planning programs. The population has been growing at a rate of 2.5 percent per year for the last two and a half decades. Legalizing abortion was another scheme to restrict the growth of the population. However, past abortions have been seen as an immoral act attacking the sanctity of life, a view embodied in the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and this attitude is still widely maintained by many sections of Indian society today is at the same time, approximately 4.4 million abortions occur each year, clearly revealing the difference between legally acknowledged social values and social realism.India initiated in sanctioning induced abortion (Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act of 1971) under which a woman can legally avail abortion if the pregnancy carries the risk of grave physical injury, endangers her mental health, when pregnancy results from a contraceptive failure in a married woman or from rape or is likely to result in the birth of a child with physical or mental abnormalities. Abortion is permitted up to 20 weeks of pregnancy duration and no spousal consent is required. According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, in 1996-97 about 4.6 lakh MTPs were performed in the country. Against that, an estimated 6.7 million abortions per year are performed in other than registered and government recognized institutions, often by untrained persons in unhygienic conditions. Despite an intensive national campaign for safe motherhood and after the initial attention on unsafe abortion in the 1960s and early 1970s that led to legalization of abortion, morbidity and mortality from unsafe abortion have remained a serious problem for Indian women 28 years after abortion was legalized in India[4]. In the last decade, women’s health advocates have tried to draw the attention of policy makers and administrators to a range of issues and concerns related to abortion in order to improve the availability, safety and use of services. In the post Cairo period, the comprehensive Reproductive and Child Health (RCH) programme initiated in India, has included abortion in the RCH package and work towards making it safe. While the climate seems to be favorable to initiate debate on safe abortion among key stakeholders, lack of reliable information, wide regional and rural-urban differences, inability to bring various constituencies on a common platform and a thin research base, make it difficult for policy makers, administrators and women’s health advocates to develop strategic interventions. The Abortion Assessment Project India (AAP-I), ventured to fill in the gap by creating evidence-based body of knowledge on all facets of induced abortion. This multi- centric research project commenced in August 2000 and was managed jointly by CEHAT (Mumbai) and Health Watch (New Delhi).

[1] Punam KumariBhagatand PratishSinha, “Abortionlawin India:Thedebateonitslegality”

[2]BrodieJanetFarrell,Contraceptionandabortioninnineteenth-centuryAmericaIthaca254(APRIL 2023).

[3] Punam KumariBhagatand PratishSinha, “Abortionlawin India:Thedebateonitslegality”

[4] GovernmentofIndia,“TheShantilalShah CommitteeReport”19(Ministry ofHealth, 1964).