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Updated: Nov 9, 2020


Subha Lakshmi K, III year of B.A., LL.B.


During the last few years, many countries have liberalized these abortion laws many countries are having very restricted abortion laws and there are many countries where abortion laws liberal in 1971 by enacting medical termination of Pregnancy Act which was designed to create a certain exception to the strict provision of IPC and PNDT Act 1994. Abortion policy in India is consistence with safeguarding reproductive rights as envisaged by international agreements. It does not advocate abortion as a family planning service to prevent unwanted pregnancy and at the same time recognizes the importance of providing safe, affordable, accessible and acceptable abortion service to women who need to terminate an unwanted pregnancy.


Abortion was restricted in almost every country at the end of 19th century both in Rome and Greece abortion was acceptable the old treatment has several legal passages that refer to abortion, but the deal with it in terms of loss of the property. During bible time (Old Testament), the fetus has been given the status of property which can be infused from the very fact that if a wife caused miscarriage she was required to her death, the husband was liable


Induced abortion has been a source of considerable debate and controversy. An individual personal stance on the complex ethical, moral and legal issues have a strong relationship with the given individuals' value system.


A woman has a right to abort only:

  • The continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk to the life of the pregnant woman greater than if the pregnancy was terminated.


Abortion is permitted under section 312 of IPC only to protect the life of the mother. In other words, the life of the unborn child ought not to be destroyed unless to protect yet another life of the matter. The statutory provision seems to recognize the fetus' right to life, should not necessarily be imminent or certain.


Egypt, Iran, Philippines Laos Gabon, Angola, Palan dominion republic, Nicaragua etc are few countries where abortion has restricted some countries where abortion is permitted just to save the life of the mother or to preserve her physical, health are new Zealand, Ireland, Libya, Nigeria, Sudan, Uganda, Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Yemen etc. there are few countries where a third element is added to above – stated parameters that is to preserve the mental health and they are Malaysia, Thailand, Jamaica, Gambia, Algeria etc.


Section 312 and 316 of the Indian penal code have made induced abortion punishable section 312 miscarriage with the consent of the woman and section 313 causing miscarriage without the women’s consent, punishable. In IPC induced abortion was declared as illegal. as per IPC penalty for induced abortion was 3years imprisonment or fine or both and penalty for women who is abetting abortion is 7years imprisonment or fine or both.


Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act was enacted on 1st April 1971, 2002. Mr.Shantilal Shah, Health Minister of Maharashtra state has submitted the report. The main objective of the MTP Act is to provide for the termination of certain pregnancies by RMPs and the matters connected therewith.

Section 3 of the said Act lays down the conditions under which a pregnancy may be terminated by registered medical practitioners on the company with section 312 IPC; we find that it has liberalized the strict provisions.


In Surendra Chauhan vs. State of Madhya Pradesh, an unmarried girl of 24 years ago, told her mother and told her that the deceased was going to the clinic of a doctor ’S’. Later on the same day, both the appellant and ‘S’ came to the deceased mother and told her that the deceased was in a serious condition. When the deceased’s mother reached the clinic off’s’ she found the daughter lying dead on the table inside the clinic. When asked what was the reason for the treatment and death of her daughter, the appellant told her that he was having illicit relations with the deceased as a result of which she was carrying a pregnancy of two or three months. He also told her that he got the deceased admitted in the hospital off’s’ for abortion and during the treatment, the deceased condition became serious causing her death. The Professor of Forensic Medicine opined that the deceased was carrying pregnancy three months appellants and the ‘S’ were tried together. While ‘S’ was convicted under the Indian Penal Code 1960 s 314, the appellant was convicted under Sections 314 and 34. Both were sentenced to seventy years’ rigorous imprisonment, (RI) and a fine of Rs.10, 000 and in default of payment of fine further two years’ RI. Both filed appeals in the High court of Madhya Pradesh.


Abortions have both negative and positive side. In some aspects, abortions are to be made legal to save the life of the mother. Abortions should be made legal in some conditions where the child cannot live i.e. if pregnancy is made by rape, or pregnancy for a lunatic girl or when the fetus has health issues then abortion must be made legal three months. Nearly half of all pregnancies here are unintended of which 4 in 10 ends in abortion. It must be clear that the restrictions on abortion do not take any legal or public health sense. What makes abortion safe is simple -when it is available on the women’s request. All criminal sanctions against abortion would be revoked, making abortion available at the request of only the person who counts the one who is pregnant. Sweden has proved that abortions after 18 weeks can effectively disappear with very good services, and WHO has shown that frost-timetable abortions can be provided safely and effectively at the primary and comity level.

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