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ABORTION LAW IN INDIA

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ABORTION LAW IN INDIA

WHY IN NEWS ?

  • Recently, SC’s split verdict came on Wednesday, virtually putting on hold the court’s October 9 order, allowing the termination of the advanced pregnancy citing vulnerable physical and psychological health of the 27-year-old mother of two.

MORE ABOUT THE NEWS:

  • On October 9, a two-judge Bench of Justices Hima Kohli and B V Nagarathna, after interacting with the petitioner through video conferencing, allowed the termination of the pregnancy.
  • The court reasoned that an unwanted pregnancy due to failure of contraceptive methods is the same as a forced pregnancy for which termination is allowed up to 24 weeks.
  • However, AIIMS, Delhi, wrote to the SC that it would need a directive on whether a foeticide (stopping the foetal heart) can be done before termination since the foetus is “currently viable”.
  • On October 11, after the AIIMS report, the same Bench was split on allowing the abortion, and the case went before a three-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) D Y Chandrachud.
  • On Friday, the Bench called for a fresh medical report to indicate the foetal health and medical condition of the woman.

INDIA’S CURRENT LAW ON ABORTION:

  • The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act (MTP Act) allows termination of pregnancy in three stages.
  • Termination of pregnancy up to 20 weeks is allowed on the advice of one doctor.
  • If a pregnancy is 20-24 weeks, the right to seek abortion is determined by two registered medical practitioners as an exception, but only under certain categories.
  • Section 3B of the Rules under the MTP Act lists seven categories of forced pregnancies, including statutory rape in case of minors or sexual assault; women with disabilities; or when there is a change in marital status of women during pregnancy.
  • After 24 weeks, a medical board must be set up in “approved facilities”, which may “allow or deny termination of pregnancy” only if there is substantial foetal abnormality.

SYLLABUS: PRELIMS, CURRENT AFFAIRS

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