The Masculine Indian State: On Abortion in India

  • Aishwarya Ramkumar
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  • Aishwarya Ramkumar

    Student at Jindal Global Law School, India

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“The state is a male in the feminist sense”. Catherine Mackinnon, in this statement, critiques the masculine nature of the state and its ignorance of a woman’s agency. Using this statement as a point of departure, this paper is premised on the argument that the state and its organs are blind to the rights and liberties of a women. It seeks to analyse this statement in the Indian context in light of the Indian abortion laws. It primarily argues that the abortion laws in India are rather masculine, and are often used to control the sexuality, agency, and choice of women (the term “women” is used in a non-exclusive manner and the arguments in this paper are inclusive of everyone person who can bear a foetus). The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 and the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020 will also be discussed to ascertain the extent of their masculinity. The paper will also engage with some masculine acts of the legislature and judiciary which have resulted denying women their basic human rights. Finally, it calls for the coming of a feminist or women centric state, that is sensitive towards and conscious of the rights and autonomy of women. This paper, therefore, critiques the socio-legal landscape that shapes this male perspective of the state, and appeals for a more women-centric state where women have the exclusive autonomy and choice with respect to their body.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 4, Issue 3, Page 5558 - 5577


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