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Is Abortion Legal In India?

Yes, abortion is legal in India, and it has been like that for quite a while, especially after the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, 1971. But it is not like every woman out there can just go to an abortion clinic and have it done. No, it is not like that. There are a few limitations to this as well. And if you want to know what are the specific laws regarding abortion in India, and what amendments were recently made to them, then just keep on reading today’s post. We’ll also talk about what is the legal landscape regarding abortion in India as of today, and what you can expect as a female citizen of the country. Alright, here we go.


A Look Back at Abortion Laws

Before the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act came into existence, India’s abortion laws were rooted in the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which largely treated the act as a crime unless it was absolutely necessary to save a woman’s life. Often, women had no safe options for abortion within this harsh legal setting.

However, the MTP Act of 1971 was a game changer in the sense that it saw a milestone change by making abortion legal under some specific conditions. This is ensuring safe abortion procedures to safeguard the health of women. It establishes with clarity the stages of pregnancy at which an abortion is legally permissible, always under the care of qualified doctors.

Amendment of Law

As a result of the most advanced society and the new times and changing technologies, there were a few changes made to this MTP act recently. The 2021 update, for instance, extended the pregnancy period allowed for abortions and broadened the criteria to include a wider range of women, addressing situations like family distress, health issues, or crises. This was significant in making the law quite elastic.

What Is Today’s Legal Landscape Regarding Abortion In India?

Currently, Indian law permits abortions under an expanded set of guidelines that now include unmarried women and cases of contraceptive failure. They still require medical consent, but the updated laws state the time when and how abortions can be carried out in a way that makes a compromise between women’s rights and medical safety. The Indian Supreme Court has a vital role in the shaping of interpretation under the MTP Act, improvement, and making clear women’s rights to make choices over reproduction. In many cases, the court has now laid to rest the areas of doubt in law and hence enlightened both the lower courts and the medical practitioners.


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