Abortion Laws in India (Paper)

  • Shreya Raj, Law College, Dehradun, Uttranchal University
  • August 29, 2021

Content :

In 20th and 21st century, the practice of abortion became very prevalent in Indian society. Generally it means aborting the life of foetus or embryo in woman\'s womb.  The term Abortion is derived from the latin word ‘abortus’ which means an object, which had been detached from its proper site. Morally, abortion seems to be sinful act so it is not permitted to follow. Abortion is not unknown practice. It has been carrying out since ancient times. Since 19th century and 20th century, various phases in legality of abortion have been seen. At present, almost every country is endeavoring to provide safe and hygiene access to abortion keeping the health and well-being of women where health is not confined to physical but mental health too. Countries across the world have their own account of abortion laws and affairs. In early time it is found that first 40 days of male foetus and 80-90 days of female foetus were allowed to be aborted, which was further declared as murder with punishment of excommunication. In the year of 1920 , Soviet Union became the 1st state to legalize abortion. In 1980s, there was series of reforms in existing abortion laws with various fluctuations. India has also made its first progressive and liberal legislation regarding abortion laws in 1971 on recommendation of Shah Committee. It was somewhere also connected with five year plan on population control due to increasing population, meanwhile family planning from 1951 to 1977 was on peak in India but with criminalization of abortion, it was also majorly resulting illegal abortion accompanied by high rate of maternal deaths due to untrained service providers and by using non-recommended, unhygienic and unsafe methods. Since five decades various amendments have been proposed and some of them have been implemented with the need of the time arisen.