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