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Abortion in India



April 13, 2024

  • Abortion in India is governed by the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, which was enacted in 1971 and amended in 2021 to make certain aspects of abortion access more progressive.
  • Here are some key points about abortion in India:
  1. Legal Framework: Abortion is legal in India under specific conditions outlined in the MTP Act. It allows for the termination of pregnancy under certain circumstances and within specific gestational limits.
  2. Gestational Limit: Under the MTP Act, abortion is allowed up to 20 weeks of gestation. However, in exceptional cases where the life of the pregnant woman is in danger, the pregnancy can be terminated even after 20 weeks.
  3. Conditions for Abortion: Abortion can be performed in India if:
    • There is a substantial risk of the child being born with physical or mental abnormalities.
    • The pregnancy poses a risk to the physical or mental health of the woman.
    • Pregnancy results from rape or incest.
    • The continuation of the pregnancy endangers the life of the pregnant woman.
  4. Who Can Perform Abortions: Registered medical practitioners who are qualified and have received training in abortion procedures can perform abortions.
  5. Consent: In most cases, the consent of the pregnant woman is required for the abortion. In the case of minors (those below 18 years of age), the consent of a guardian is necessary.
  6. Government Facilities: Many government-run health facilities and hospitals in India provide abortion services.
  7. Private Clinics: Abortion services are also available in private clinics, but they must adhere to the legal requirements outlined in the MTP Act.
  8. Post-Abortion Care: The MTP Act requires that appropriate post-abortion care be provided to women who have undergone abortions.
  9. Amendments in 2021: In March 2021, the MTP Act was amended to extend the gestational limit for abortion from 20 weeks to 24 weeks for certain categories of women, such as rape survivors, victims of incest, and women with severe fetal abnormalities. This amendment was seen as a progressive step to provide more options to women in difficult circumstances.
  10. Challenges: Despite the legal framework, there can be challenges in accessing safe and legal abortion services, especially in rural areas. Stigma, lack of awareness, and provider-related issues can sometimes pose barriers to access.
  • It’s important to note that the availability and quality of abortion services can vary across different regions of India.
  • Women seeking an abortion should consult a qualified medical professional and be aware of their rights under the law.
  • Additionally, the legal and social landscape surrounding abortion may change, so it’s advisable to refer to the latest regulations and guidelines for the most up-to-date information.