Abortion in India

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Dr. Simi Paknikar
Medically Reviewed by The Medindia Medical Review Team  on Mar 24, 2018
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Abortion in India

In India, abortions are done according to the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971.

The rules regarding abortion vary among different countries. Abortions in India are done in accordance with the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act of 1971, which was amended in 1975. Under this act, only qualified registered medical practitioners or gynecologists can perform an abortion in particular hospitals or clinics approved for this purpose. If the pregnancy is within 12 to 20 weeks, the opinion of two qualified doctors is necessary. Abortion can be done in the following circumstances:

  • Where the mother is suffering from a serious illness, wherein the pregnancy could endanger her life.
  • If the fetus is at a risk of suffering from a severe physical or mental abnormality
  • Pregnancy as a consequence of rape
  • Pregnancy as a consequence of contraceptive failure
  • Where the socioeconomic condition of the mother does not permit a healthy pregnancy and the birth of a healthy child

Unfortunately in India, sex-selective abortions are a common reason for abortions. Preference for a boy child leads to abortions in case of a female fetus. The laws prohibiting prenatal sex determination need to be enacted more stringently to prevent the deaths of numerous female babies.

References:

  1. Rowlands S. Contraception and abortion. J R Soc Med 2007;100:465468
  2. Templeton A, Grimes DA. A Request for Abortion. N Engl J Med 2011; 365:2198-2204
  3. Brown H. Abortion round the World. BMJ 2007; 335: 1018-1019
  4. Lalitkumar S, Bygdeman M and Gemzell-Danielsson K. Mid-trimester induced abortion: a review. Human Reproduction Update 2007;13(1): 3752
  5. Induced Abortion - (http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq043.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20121007T1323563261)
  6. Abortion - (http://www.emedicinehealth.com/abortion/article_em.htm)

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