Abortion Laws in India - Legal Help Club

Abortion Laws in India 2019 – Every Girl Should Know

We are covering Abortion Laws in India 2019 | Abortion Rules in India | Abortion Acts in India in this article with PDF and Docs. We will talk about what a girl should do when she needed an abortion due to some particular medical condition. We will also see what Indian constitutions say about a girl abortion.

So, starting with the very basic question that comes to every girl and their boyfriend’s mind. Can she get an abortion? It can be a before marriage or an after marriage situations.

What is Abortion? Abortion Meaning

According to medical terminology, Abortion is the termination of pregnancy before the fetus is capable of extra-uterine life generally considered to be prior to the 20 weeks of gestation or the conceptus achieving a mass of less than 500 gm or a crown-rump length of 18 cm.

‘Abortion’ as already noted is the premature termination of pregnancy prior to birth. It is a technique of removing a developing embryo or fetus from the maternal uterus for the purpose of preventing its birth.

Can a girl get an abortion in India?

Yes, it is possible for you to get an abortion under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 if your pregnancy is under 20 weeks. However, it is subject to several conditions and your ability to get an abortion will depend on the opinion of the doctor.

Abortion Laws in India - Legal Help Club
Abortion Laws in India – Legal Help Club

The law requires the doctor to assess if these conditions are fulfilled – only then are they legally allowed to perform an abortion.

Conducting an abortion without fulfilling the conditions is considered a crime.

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As you know in India abortion become a fashion. Ladies, mainly on family or husbands pressure goes for an ultrasound and if she finds that It is a baby girl. They tried to put that baby down through abortion. Many of the doctors help them in this entire process which is totally wrong.

We never respect this behavior of abortion. Don’t judge people by their gender, please!

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Conditions on which abortion is allowed in India

Under the law (section 3 of the medical termination of pregnancy Act 1971), the doctor can perform an abortion in the following situations:

  • If the pregnancy would be harmful to your life or physical or mental health. The doctor will need to consider your circumstances to figure out if the pregnancy will harm your mental health. They also need to look at your future (as a reasonable person would) to figure out the effects of the pregnancy.
  • If there is a good chance that the child would suffer from physical or mental abnormalities which would leave him or her seriously handicapped.

In such medical circumstances, abortion in India would be permitted.

Abortion Laws in India – What else you need to see before allowing abortion?

According to abortion laws in India, abortion is only allowed when these conditions are fulfilled –

  • If the pregnancy has not exceeded 12 weeks (first trimester), only one doctor needs to be satisfied that the conditions have been fulfilled.
  • If the pregnancy has exceeded 12 weeks and is below 20 weeks (first trimester), two doctors need to be satisfied that the conditions have been fulfilled.
  • The gestation period does not matter if a doctor feels that an immediate abortion must be conducted to save your life.
  • The doctor who determines if it is necessary to perform an abortion and performs it needs to be a ‘registered medical practitioner’ under the law.

The sex of the fetus is female, can I go for abortion?

It is a crime to get an abortion because you or your family do not want a girl child. We have seen a lot of such conditions.

If you get an abortion after you come to know the sex of the foetus, you can be punished with jail time of up to three or seven years depending on the stage of pregnancy (Section 312 IPC 1860). However, please remember that abortion is otherwise legal (subject to conditions mentioned) – it is abortion which follows sex-determination that is unlawful.

It is a crime to conduct any kind of test or procedure (like an ultrasound) to try and make sure the fetus is of a particular sex or to check the sex of your fetus under another law called the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994.

Any procedure or technique performed on a man or woman for the purpose of sex-selection is illegal. Any procedure or technique performed on a woman for the purpose of sex-determination is illegal. Since the abortion of female fetuses is high in India, both you and your doctor can be punished for conducting a diagnostic test to figure out the sex of the child.

You are only allowed to get such tests or procedures in order to detect certain abnormalities of the fetus or if you are above 35 years of age or if you suffer from certain health-specific problems.

I hope you got the clear cut idea that this is totally wrong to go abortion accordingly the abortion laws in India.

Who can be punished for committing an illegal abortion?

You should know that an abortion which does not fulfill the conditions is considered a crime under the general law on crimes in India.

Abortion of under 4 to 5-month pregnancy

The punishment for getting an illegal abortion is jail time of up to 3 years and/or fine. Both you and your doctor are considered to have committed a crime unless it was done in good faith to save your life.

Abortion of over 5-month pregnancy

If abortion takes place when you can sense the movement of the foetus, the punishment is higher. This is generally known as quickening and usually takes place between 17 and 20 weeks. Both you and your doctor can be punished with jail time of up to seven years and fine unless it was done in good faith to save your life.

Abortion without your consent

If anyone else forces you to have an abortion or performs one without you agreeing to it, the punishment is jail time of up to 10 years and fine.

Abortion resulting in death

If the patient dies because of a botched abortion or an abortion carried out by an unskilled person, the doctor who conducted the operation can be punished with jail time of up to 10 years and fine. If the abortion was conducted without the patient’s permission, the punishment is jail for life.

Intentionally causing the death of a fetus can also be prosecuted under other provisions of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 under which the punishment can extend up to 10 years.

Types of Abortion | Abortion Types

The Shah committee (1971) estimated that prior to the liberalization abortion laws, the abortion rate was 10% per 1000 population (5 spontaneous and 8 induced).

Abortion is of various types, all of which are not the concern of Ethics. Generally, abortion has two broad classes- natural or spontaneous abortion and induced or artificial abortion.

An abortion is natural when it occurs owing to natural causes. Natural abortion occurs either spontaneously or accidentally and about 80% spontaneous abortion occurs during the second and third month of pregnancy.

Spontaneous or natural abortion is of following types:

(a) Threatened abortion, which occurs in 20% of all spontaneous abortion, (b) Inevitable abortion, which occurs in 10% of all spontaneous abortion.
(c) Incomplete abortion, which occurs in 10% of all spontaneous abortion, (d) Septic abortion, which occurs in 10% of all spontaneous abortion,
(e) Missed abortion, which is estimated at 2% of all spontaneous abortion, and
(f) Habitual abortion, which is estimated at 2% of all spontaneous abortion.

An artificial or induced abortion, on the other hand, is an elective termination of pregnancy prior to viability. It is a sort of abortion where expulsion of the fetus is caused forcibly by artificial means- both mechanical and medicinal. In artificial or induced abortion, there are some purposes which necessitate the termination of pregnancy.

An artificial abortion becomes justifiable when it is earned out in good faith for the safety of the mother’s life as when the continuation of pregnancy materially endangers the life of the mother. And an abortion becomes criminal when it is done with the desire of causing destruction of the fetus with or without the consent of the mother, which does not concern the question of safety of mother’s life.

I am pregnant because contraceptives did not work properly, what to do?

If you are a married person, you should be able to get an abortion if contraceptives did not work and you did not want to have more children.

The doctor has a legal duty to assume in such cases that the pregnancy affects your mental health gravely.

The same legal duty does not, unfortunately, apply to unmarried women. However, please remember that this does not mean that you cannot get an abortion. If the doctor forms an opinion that your mental health will suffer if the pregnancy continues, he or she can perform the abortion.

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If you have any query or concerns over abortion laws in India or about your own or family member abortion. Do comment below.

2 thoughts on “Abortion Laws in India 2019 – Every Girl Should Know”

  1. This is a informative article. Every Indian girl should be aware of this Law that is abortion law.
    I hope our Indian girl will be aware and self dependent.


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