Laws Relating to Abortion in India: Comparatively is Progressive and Humane

  • Dr. K. Sangeetha
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  • Dr. K. Sangeetha

    Professor at Department of International Law, The Tamil Nadu Dr.Ambedkar Law University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

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Abortion Laws rely essentially on deciding when life begins and Societies will always debate upon. An important piece of Legislation speaking to India about half of India has gone largely unapplauded. In late January 2020, the Union Cabinet amended the 1971 Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act allowing women to seek abortions as part of Reproductive rights and Gender Justice. The Amendment also places India in the top league of Countries serving women who wish to make individual choices from their perspectives and predicaments. The Amendment has raised the upper limit of MTP from 20 to 24 weeks for women including rape survivors, victims of incest, differently abled women and minors. Failure of contraception is also acknowledged and MTP is now available to “any woman or her partner” replacing the old provision for “only married woman or her husband.” The New Law is forward looking, empathetic and looks at a very sensitive issue with a human face. India’s move comes at a time when the landmark Roe v. Wade in the Supreme Court of the United States (US) is under scrutiny. “India will now stand amongst Nations with a highly progressive law which allows Legal Abortions on a broad range of Therapeutic, Humanitarian and Social grounds. It is a milestone which will further empower women, especially those who are vulnerable and victims of rape,” That 1973 judgment protects a pregnant woman’s liberty to decide whether or not to have an abortion without needless Government restrictions. A Historic piece of Legislation, it served as a beacon of hope for women around the World. The MTP Act of 1971 was enacted at a time when most Countries lacked comparable Legislation. As a result of the preference for male foetuses over female foetuses in India, female foeticide and pre-natal determination of sex were criminal offences at the time, making it a significant breakthrough. Regarding abortion, the paper examines the extent and rationale for State intervention as parens patriae to protect the health and well being of both the Mother and the Embryo at the National and International level. The Global situation appears to be dire. According to a UN Report, 98% of Countries permit abortion to save a woman's life. This is a very encouraging statistic. In actuality, a woman's existence in the Twenty - First Century is limited to her limbs and body. This is supported by the fact that only 34% of Countries permit abortion solely on the request of the woman in cases of unintended pregnancy. This Article will sum up the current Indian Laws and the need for all Nations to move towards upholding womanhood and the autonomy of her Privacy, Rights, and Decisions.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 7, Issue 3, Page 471 - 490


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