India is the world’s biggest democracy and the Constitution of the Republic promises right to equality, freedom, against exploitation, freedom of religion, Cultural and educational rights and to constitutional remedies.
But what are your reproductive rights when it comes to abortion and termination of pregnancies by your individual choice and decision alone. Do laws strip these rights away or are they preserved? Lets find out!
After the overturning of the Roe v. Wade verdict by the Supreme Court of the United Sates of America, a lot of conversation happened around ‘Abortion Laws‘ around the world.
In India, India’s Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971, permits and abortion until 20 weeks of pregnancy. Due to an amendment that happened in 2021, the time frame was raised to 24 weeks. The increase in the time frame is only permitted in special cases of pregnant women. Such as rape or incest survivors that too, with the approval of two registered doctors.
Indian Abortion Laws
The basic abortion laws in India states that a woman who is unmarried. And over 18 years of age can provide her own written consent. To get an abortion. Legal age if below 18 years, then you must have written consent.
Dr. Komal Sahay, a gynecologist from Mumbai, while speaking about abortion in India, said that. Despite it being legally recognized under the Indian law. Many women are either unaware of their right to medically terminate a pregnancy. Or seek unsafe abortions from outside the formal health care system due to stigma around the procedure.
“Up to and including 12 weeks’ gestation. A woman can get an abortion after one doctor has issued a letter of approval. After 12 and up to and including 20 weeks’ gestation. A woman can get an abortion provided two doctors or registered medical practitioners have given the letter of approval”. She further said.
Speaking about whether or not Indian women have more control over their reproductive rights as compared to women in the US. After analyzing the current situation in the US, it is noted that when it comes to abortion rights. The Indian legal framework is more progressive than that of the USA. This is evident from India being a pioneer in legalizing abortion, the parliamentary debates stressing the right to bodily autonomy of women, the numerous court judgments going against the MTP Act to uphold the right of the women over the fetus.
Therefore, it can be said that India has been pretty proactive. When it comes to upholding Women’s right to abortion compared to the United States.