In What Situations Women have a Right to Abortion? BY Priyanka
The Indian Penal Code 1860 made abortion a Criminal Offence under.
- Sec 312 of IPC 1860 relates to unlawful termination of pregnancy.
Here under IPC the framers of code have not used word ‘abortion’, ‘miscarriage’& ‘unborn Child’. But by legal interpretation we will find voluntary causing miscarriage stands for Criminal Abortion.
Among all countries India made abortion laws liberal on 1971 by enacting MTP Act which was designed to create certain exceptions to the strict provision of IPC.
# Provisions under MTP Act 1971
Under this act 1971, termination of pregnancy can only be done in good faith by registered medical practitioners & it permits the termination of pregnancy
- Upto 20 weeks &
- Opinion of more than two medical practitioners.
The act does not permit termination of pregnancy after 20 weeks. The word ‘good faith’ not been defined under this act. It means discretion is in the hand of medical practitioners.
In India Nikita Mehta’s Case, has given rise to an abortion debate relating to statutory time limits to abortion from 20 weeks to 24 weeks.
# Before termination of pregnancy consent of following persons are required undert MTP Act
- If married : her own consent
- If unmarried & above 18yrs : her own consent
- Below 18yrs : written consent of her guardians
- A mentally ill : written consent of her guardians
# A woman has the right to abort
- If woman has a serious disease & pregnancy could endanger her physical/mental health
- If continuance of pregnancy could lead to substantial risk to the new born leading to serious physical/meantal health
- If the pregnancy is the result of rape
- If the socio-economic status of mother hampers the progress of a healthy pregnancy & the birth of a healthy child
- If the contraceptive device irrespective of method used failed.
Landmark Judgment: 14yrs old rape survivor allowed to abort by SC
- Minor become 25 weeks pregnant after allegedly raped by her Dr. Jatin Bhai Kumar Mehta,
- She was denied permission by Gujarat HC to abort foetus,
- Team of 5 doctors has given permission to abort.
# Some more case laws
- Rajeswari v. State of Tamil Nadu & others
- An unmarried girl, rape victim of 18yrs praying for abortion on the ground that bearing unwanted pregnancy of 3 months,
- That made her mentally ill & continuance of pregnancy has caused great anguish in her mind,
- The court granted the permission to terminate the pregnancy.
- Nisha Malviya & Anr. Vs State of MP
- The accused had committed rape with about 12 years girl and made her pregnant
- The two other co-accused took this girl & terminated her pregnancy,
- The court held that all three accused guilty of termination of pregnancy without consent of a girl.
- Murari Mohan Koley v. The State 2003
- Woman wanted abortion on the ground of that she has 6 months daughter,
- Condition of women worsened in hospital and shifted to another hospital and resulted death of her & abortion was not done,
- The action was done in good faith so that medical practitioner can get exemption from Criminal Liability under sec 3 of the MTP Act, 1971.
“Every two hours in India a women dies from an unsafe abortion”
More than 180,000 abortions took place in India capital in the last 5yrs, according to information provided by RTI Activist.
India saw 6.41 lakh abortions across 12,510 institutions, approved to carry out MTP. According to the family welfare statistics in India 2009, the union ministry, india recorded 7.25 lakh & 6.82 lakh induced abortions in 2007.
According to 2008 figures the latest compiled data, UP recorded the highest no. of MTPs followed by T.N, Orissa, Assam & Maharashtra. The other states with high abortion numbers includeWest Bengal, Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan.
This Article was prepared or accomplished by Priyanka in his personal capacity. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of the LawOF.in
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