Somebody has rightly estimated that "the progress of a community as a whole
can only be measured by the status of their women."
The status of a woman or how well she is treated has always been of great
interests not only to the historians but also to the common man.
When we think of a woman, an illusion of "a feminine figure who is soft at heart
but much stronger in nature because she is majorly responsible for carrying out
the legacy of the mankind" comes to our mind.
But the questions that arise consecutively are- "Does she only exist to
reproduce?", "Can it be her decision not to have kids"?, "Should it be the joint
decision of the partners not to have kids?" Well all these questions lead to one
of the most controversial debates of all times i.e. Realising the need of right
Meaning of Abortion
Abortion in the simplest of words if defined is a medical operation that ends
In other words, it is also known as termination of pregnancy which can either be
terminated by consuming medicines or via surgical methods.
In Abortion a foetus or an embryo is taken out of the mother's uterus and is
Abortion according to the studies are of two types:
Should Abortion be a part of Human Right?
Miscarriage in simplest of word means giving birth to a baby before it is
fully developed, causing its death.�
- Or by medical operations via surgical instruments.
Human rights are those rights that are available to a human being the moment
they are born. Human rights tend to be known as the birth rights of an
individual. Many international organisations, private as well as government work
actively to promote human rights and prevent the exploitation of other people
who are oppressed either due to wars, non- developed nations or are subjected to
grave violence and many other reasons.
Right to life and right to live are one of many human rights that the
organisation are working for. The agenda that needs to be understood is that
abortion is the birth right of a mother and she has the right to life.
Statistics prove that the access to abortion helps in reducing the mortality
rate of a living being. Many women die while giving birth that is actually
harmful for her in the long run.
Apart from that, there have been many cases where women are subjected to
multiple pregnancies irrespective of her health issues either due to the desire
of a male child or due to other reasons. Right to Abortion as a human right
would not only reduce the death rates of the mothers but also would prevent
people from unnecessary desires.
Right to Abortion as human right would not only help the mothers to prevent them
to get prone to such things but eventually would give a new and a much stronger
voice to the ladies back there who either are rape survivors or are subjected to
multiple pregnancies by their in-laws.
Abortion in United States of America: An Analysis
In the landmark case of Roe vs Wade
, the Supreme Court of the United
States of America on June 24, 1973 recognized that the Right to Liberty
according to their constitution also means Right to Privacy and hence the right
to decide whether to continue the pregnancy or not.
This landmark case in the history of America recognised and made Abortion
absolutely legal as long as the foetus does not live outside the womb, most
probably until 22-24 weeks of pregnancy. Before that in 1967, Colorado� became
the first state to decriminalize abortion in cases of rape, incest or when the
mother's life is at risk.
The United States which is considered to be one of most developed nations of the
world where Fundamental Rights and independence especially for women are
considered to be one of the top agendas by the people, however, received the
major setback on June 24, 2022 when the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs Wade and
made the states responsible for taking up the decisions of abortion thereby no
longer a Constitutional Right. In one stroke, 36 million women lost their
abortion rights although the hope is still with the States.
If the state declares Abortion illegal, it would not only be a black day for the
rape survivors but also there would be a tremendous increase of foster care that
these unwanted births will go into. Most teenagers having children don't have
the means to provide for a child whether mentally or financially. Children may
suffer if they do not get adopted or if they go through the foster care route.
Abortion in India was made legal under various conditions by the Medical
Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act of 1971.
The regulations for the Medical Termination of Pregnancy were issued in 2003 to
provide access to safe and legal abortion to women.
Before the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act of 1971, abortion in India was
criminalized according to Section 312 of the Indian Penal code of 1860 stating
that Abortion is an intentional miscarriage.
The person who caused or operated this "miscarriage" would be liable to three
years in prison or a fine while a women committing such punishable offence had
to face seven years in prison or a fine.
In order to take a historical step and to expand health services in India,
the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act was amended in the year 2021
- Abortion irrespective of the marital status i.e. the act legalized
unmarried women to undergo abortion.
- It increased the limit upto 24 weeks for all the rape survivors and
beyond 24 weeks for some exceptional and complicated reasons.
- The act now needs one medical practitioner for 20 weeks, two for 20-24
weeks and approval of the medical board beyond 24 weeks.
- The law also provides confidentiality of the identity of the women who
undergoes abortion, except for the person authorised by law.
- Incase of failure of such confidentiality, imprisonment upto 1 year or
fine would be applicable.
The new amendment contributes towards reducing maternal mortality rate and to
enhance the rate of Sustainable development goals.
- X versus The Principal Secretary Health and Family welfare
In the landmark judgement of September 29th, the Supreme Court stated that
under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act of 1971, all women are
entitled to safe and legal judgement notwithstanding if they are married or
upto their 24 weeks of pregnancy.
- Suchita Shrivastava and Anr versus Chandigarh Administration, 2009
The Supreme Court on August 29th stated that a pregnancy can only be
terminated if it follows the provisions of the Medical Termination of
Pregnancy (MTP) Act of 1971 and the Supreme Court stated the women's right
to make reproductive choice within the right to personal liberty under
Article 21 of the Constitution of India, 1950.⁵
- Bhupinder Kumar versus Angrej Singh, 2009
The Supreme Court in the case of Bhupender Kumar versus Angrej Singh
on August 28th stated that incase of the pregnancy of a girl who is minor or
is below eighteen years of age, or is mentally ill shall only be terminated
on the consent of her guardian.
In a world, where women had mostly been treated subordinate to men, where most
of their pleas still remain unheard in the remote areas of the country, where
they still are treated as "kids- producing machines" irrespective of the lack of
health care and mistreatment they undergo, when the rape victims suffer, where
many deaths occur,
Right to Abortion under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP)Acts of 1971
and 2021 for the women by the Government of Democratic Republic of India is
indeed one of the most reformative steps ever taken over a decade.
The Right to Abortion not only freed women from the clutches of forced child
birth and maternal mortality stigma but also helped in improving lives where
pegnancies were caused by negligence.
But all that glitters is not gold, although the right as well as the rules had
already been implemented by the legislature and the judiciary as well, a large
section of people especially the women still remain unaware of their rights or
even if they are aware, they are still subjected to the dominancy of their in-
laws including their own family members.
In today's era, Abortion still remains one of the most controversial topics of
all time with millions of people supporting it while millions of people still
against it. However, the fact that one needs to realise is that a woman should
have a right on her body and it should be her decision whether to procreate
children or not. It should be her will to decide if she wants terminate the
pregnancy that was caused to her just for the reason that some psychopath
It should be her right to terminate the pregnancy if her life feels threatened.
It should be her sole decision to end the pregnancy if she is subjected to
unwanted pregnancies due to the desire of a male child or due to the lack of
contraceptive methods that should have actually been used by them.
Moreover, banning Abortion does not reduce the number but eventually increases
the rate of unsafe Abortion which is the third largest reason responsible for
maternity deaths. Hence it's high time we as the citizens of the largest
democracy of the world, where the power rests with the people which includes
large section of women i.e. India, realize the importance of 60.47 crores women
of the country and spread awareness for their health and acknowledge the need
and treat everyone at par with us.
- meaning in the Oxford dictionary
- meaning in the Oxford dictionary
- reference taken from YouTube video ABC news
Award Winning Article Is Written By: Ms.Aaliya Fatima
Authentication No: AP309564664810-5-0423