MEDICAL TERMINATION OF PREGNANCY BY TWINKLE KWATRA

INTRODUCTION

The concept of miscarriage or abortion is considered unethical all around the world. With the United States passing the anti-abortion law, many people were for and against this move. While some believe that abortion is murder, others believe that it is a woman’s reproductive right.

These two opinions are prevalent in India, too and India being a religiously mindful country, some also view abortion as a religious sin.

Until 1971, the Indian Penal Code, 1860 was the only legal provision available for women regarding miscarriage and abortion. In 1964, the Central Family Planning Board recommended the Ministry of Health to legalize abortion. For this purpose, the Shantilal Shah Committee was formed, and with its report submitted 1966, the Government passed the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, 1971.

This Act was passed to prevent illegal abortions. However, this has been viewed to be problematic as it does not grant women the right to choose when they can go through with the abortion and places a discretionary power on the Government to decide.

In simple terms, the MTP Act allows for termination of pregnancy under limited conditions, and such termination done beyond the limited conditions would amount to a criminal offence under the Indian Penal Code, 1860.

The right to abortion has also been viewed by Courts as a fundamental right and the landmark judgment of Roe v. Wade reiterated the same, stating that the right to abortion is fundamental liberty protected by the 14th  Amendment of the Constitution.

 

LEGAL PROVISIONS REGARDING MISCARRIAGE

I.P.C

SEC 312: CAUSING MISCARRIAGE

  • voluntarily causing a woman with child to miscarry
  • such miscarriage should not have been caused in good faith for the purpose of saving the life of the woman.
  • then the punishment will be of 3 years or fine or both.
  • and if woman be quick with the child, then punishment will be of 7 years and shall also liable to fine.
  • a woman who causes herself to miscarry is within the meaning of the section.

SEC 313:  CAUSING MISCARRIAGE WITHOUT WOMAN’S CONSENT

  • either woman is quick with the child or not the punishment will be of life imprisonment or imprisonment of either description for a term of 10 years and shall also be liable to fine.

SEC 314: DEATH CAUSE BY ACT DONE WITH INTENT TO CAUSE MISCARRIAGE

  • punishable with imprisonment of either description for a term of 10 years and shall also be liable to fine.

IF ACT DONE WITHOUT WOMAN CONSENT

  • punishment will be of life imprisonment or imprisonment of either description for a term of 10 years and shall also be liable to fine.

“IT IS NOT ESSENTIAL FOR THIS OFFENCE  THAT THE OFFENDER SHOULD KNOW THAT ACT WILL LIKELY TO CAUSE DEATH.”

SEC 315: ACT DONE WITH INTENT TO PREVENT CHILD BEING BORN ALIVE OR TO CAUSE IT TO DIE AFTER BIRTH

  • Act should be done before the birth of the child.
  • such miscarriage should not have been caused in good faith for the purpose of saving the life of the woman.
  • punishable with imprisonment of either description for a term of 10 years and or with fine or both.

SEC 316:CAUSING DEATH OF QUICK UNBORN CHILD BY ACT AMOUNTING TO CULPABLE HOMICIDE

  • Whoever does any act under such circum­stances, that if he thereby caused death he would be guilty of culpable homicide, and does by such act cause the death of a quick unborn child.
  • shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.
  • Illustration A, knowing that he is likely to cause the death of a pregnant woman, does an act which, if it caused the death of the woman, would amount to culpable homicide. The woman is injured, but does not die; but the death of an unborn quick child with which she is pregnant is thereby caused. A is guilty of the offence defined in this section.

MTP Act

The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 is an Act that provides for the termination of certain pregnancies by registered medical practitioners and for related matters. It is absolutely necessary for registered, medical practitioners with a recognized medical qualification, whose names are registered at the State Medical Register and who have experience under gynaecology and obstetrics, to conduct termination of pregnancies.

Section 3(2) lays down the following conditions for termination of pregnancies:

  • When there is danger or risk to life or risk of mental or physical health of the pregnant woman, including contraceptive failure.
  • When the pregnancy arose out of rape or sexual intercourse with a mentally-ill woman.
  • When there would be substantial risks to the child and if born, the child would suffer from abnormalities.

The termination can be done under the above-mentioned conditions only with the advice of a medical practitioner. This has been challenged as it places a final decision only on the doctors to move ahead with the termination, and not on the woman who may wish to terminate the pregnancy.

In addition, it has been mentioned that the termination of the pregnancies cannot be done without the consent of the woman. However, this had been challenged in the case of Suchita Srivastava in the Supreme Court as to how a mentally retarded woman would be able to give consent to termination if such termination cannot be done without the consent of the woman.

 

CONCLUSION

The current miscarriage and abortion laws in India do not guarantee totally protect the reproductive rights of women, contrary to the precedents which have established that a woman can decide whether or not to have a child and the state must not intervene in matters of this right.

Giving autonomy to medical practitioners regarding a woman’s reproductive rights would go against a woman’s right to life and her right to privacy.

Another issue that can be pointed out from the MTP Act is the fact that a woman must continue with her pregnancy, even if she does not have the economic means to do so. This places a burden on the woman, especially single mothers, to continue with her pregnancy and to take care of her child after its birth, although she may not have economic or physical means to do so. Therefore, this is another reason why the right to abortion must lie with the women and not only on the medical practitioners.

Indian laws must give the right to woman to  decide whether to have a child or not and to ensure that States respect these rights of the women. The States must only safeguard the reproductive rights of the women and must not intervene in decisions regarding these rights.

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Articles

A+ Formulations CBD Oil [Get 100% Genuine Result] To Reduce Everyday Stress And Support Pain Relief(Spam Or Legit)

A+ Formulations CBD Oil • Product Name – A+ Formulations CBD Oil • Side Effects – No Side Effects (100% Natural) • Main Benefits – Relieves Anxiety & Stress Reduces Pain & Chronic Aches • Category – 100% All Natural & Extract From Hemp • Results – In 1-2 Months • Availability – Online • […]

Read More
Articles LexCliq Services

Biolife CBD Gummies

👉DEAL IS LIVE CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE NOW👈 ➢ Product Name— Biolife CBD Gummies ➢ Composition— Natural Organic Compound ➢ Side-Effects—NA ➢ Availability—Online ➢ Rating — ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ➢ Official Website (Sale Is Live) — >>> Click Here to Buy Biolife CBD Gummies from the Official Website..! CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE & GET […]

Read More
Flexorol Gummies Reviews
Advocates Articles

Flexorol Gummies Reviews

• Product Name – Flexorol Gummies • Help In – Joint Pain Relief • Composition – Natural Organic Compound • Side-Effects – NA • Price – Visit the Official Website • Supplement Type – Pills • Official Website –  https://playnewsdesk.com/w5gj ➢ORDER TODAY: CLICK HERE TO BUY NOW ➢ORDER TODAY: CLICK HERE TO BUY NOW ➢ ORDER TODAY: CLICK HERE TO BUY NOW […]

Read More