Laws On abortion in India
While abortion rights in India have been subject to many debates and discussions, however,
abortion of a foetus is still considered both inhumane and criminal. There are various abortion
laws that govern the legality or illegality of abortion in India such as:
Indian Penal Code - Till 1971, Indian Penal Code (IPC) provided for the provisions of
abortion in India. Legally, however, IPC does not provide for direct provisions related to
abortion. But it does deal with miscarriage under section 312 to 316 of the code.
Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act - Also known as the abortion act in India. It deals
with the provisions of abortion laws in India. The act provides that you may terminate a
pregnancy until the first 12 weeks of it with the approval of a medical practitioner. For
abortion between 12-20 weeks of pregnancy, you require the approval of two medical
practitioners. The approval is mandatory to make sure that abortion taking place is in
accordance with the laws in India or not. The act does not provide for sex-selective
As per abortion rules in India, there is a nationwide debate on its legality.
Some countries have made abortion legal, while some countries still have laws that make it
illegal for anyone to abort the pregnancy at any stage. However, the abortion laws in India aim to
reduce illegal abortion and maternal mortality.
Often cases come up of pregnancy before marriage in India and After the divorce process in
India. Young girls who indulge in love, often face this fate without using protection while having
intercourse. In such cases, to save the dignity of the family abortion then seems to be the only
One might ask till when can you get an abortion in India?
Well, you can perform an abortion in India until the 20th week of pregnancy as per the MTP Act.
You require the opinion of a second doctor if the pregnancy is past its 12th week as per the
abortion law, India.
After the amendments to MTP Act in 2002 and 2003, doctors are allowed to provide ‘morning-
after pill’ on prescription, up until the 7th week of pregnancy, therefore making abortion legal as
per the Indian Law.
According to the abortion rule in India, the legality of abortion depends on the following cases:
A woman has a serious disease and the pregnancy would endanger her life
If the pregnancy endangers the woman's physical or mental health.
The foetus has a substantial risk of physical or mental handicap.
A woman contracts rubella (German measles) during the first three months of pregnancy.
Any of a woman’s previous children had congenital abnormalities.
The foetus is suffering from RH disease.
Exposure of the foetus to radiation.
The pregnancy is the result of rape.
A woman’s socioeconomic status may hamper a healthy pregnancy.
A contraceptive device failed.
To perform an abortion procedure on a pregnant woman, you require the permission of certain
persons. Like, if a woman is married, her own written consent is sufficient. No requirement for
her husband’s consent then.