What is Abortion?
An abortion is a procedure to end pregnancy. It uses medicine or surgery to remove the embryo or fetus and placenta from the uterus.
Is Abortion legal in India?
Yes, it is legal only when medically prescribed but requires certain guidelines to be followed.
When Pregnancies may be terminated by registered medical Practitioners?
Pregnancy can be terminated at two stages:
a) If pregnancy is under 20 weeks, then it can be terminated by single medical practitioner.
b) If pregnancy exceeds 20 weeks but does not exceed 24 weeks, then minimum 2 medical practitioners are required to terminate pregnancy.
Place where pregnancy may be terminated.
Pregnancy can be terminated at a hospital established or maintained by Government or a place which has been approved by government for the purpose of this act.
Can I get an abortion if I am below 18?
Yes, abortion can be opted for by a female who is below 18 years of age, but consent of a guardian is mandatory.
Can an unmarried woman get an abortion?
Abortion in India is driven by the concern for the health of the woman and fetus. Law says if the continuance of the pregnancy would involve a risk to the life of the pregnant woman or of grave injury to her physical or mental health then that pregnancy can be terminated.
Whose consent is needed For Abortion.
Only a pregnant woman’s consent is necessary for abortion not her parents nor her husband. Only, if the women is below 18 years of age and/or she is lunatic, in such condition a Guardian’s consent is mandatory.
Is abortion not allowed after the 24-week limit?
If there is high risk to the life of the women and foreseeable deformities to the fetus than court can allow for abortion after the 24 week limit.
(The author, Prachi Mishra, is a Supreme Court lawyer and Additional Advocate General, Chhattisgarh)