What Is Abortion?
Abortion refers to the process of termination of a pregnancy. The abortion process can be carried out using specific drugs or surgical methods. The surgical method of abortion involves the removal of a woman’s embryo or fetus (depending upon the stage of development) and placenta from the uterus.
Abortion And Society
Placing abortions in a social context is extremely necessary. In many regions worldwide, abortions are still not legal. A woman’s choice and what to do with her body is still not considered a right in many places. This is purely due to the fact that society is governed by patriarchal structures that view a woman’s purpose solely as an entity for reproduction. The fact, however, remains that an abortion is a primary health concern related to women. Hence, it is completely her choice what to do with her body.
Are Abortions Legal In India?
Abortions in India were not only prohibited completely but also criminalised before the year 1971. The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act (MTP Act) of 1971 legalised abortions after noticing a shar rise in the number of unsupervised and unsafe abortions in India.
What Was The First Abortion Technique Used In India?
When abortions were initially leaglised, the only technique used to carry out the procedure was the Dialation and Curettage Method (D & C). How is this procedure carried out? This invasive medical procedure involves dilation of the cervix, followed by the surgical removal of the uterine lining by scooping and scraping. However, this method is quite harmful, leading to future complications for the woman.
Does This Mean Every Pregnancy Can Be Terminated?
NO. Unfortunately, the MTP Act only sanctions abortions in the following cases:
- If the child is a product of rape.
- If continuing the pregnancy is risking the mother’s mental or physical life.
- If the unborn child is predicted to have serious abnormalities, defects or handicaps.
- If the pregnancy is a result of failed contraceptive methods between a husband and wife.
How To Abort Pregnancy Of 5 Weeks In India?
Where can I abort my pregnancy?
All government hospitals in the country are expected to provide good quality CAC or Comprehensive Abortion Care. One can also terminate their pregnancy in a private hospital. However, this process also requires government approval.
Till when can a pregnancy be terminated?
Under regulations of the MTP Act, an abortion can be conducted within 20 weeks of the pregnancy. However, if the life of the mother is at serious risk, these rules do not apply.
Moreover, if a woman is mentally ill, the permission of her parents or guardians is necessary to carry out the abortion.
The Bottom Line
Please do not undergo an unsafe abortion, unsupervised by a medical professional. Before choosing to abort your fetus, make sure you speak to your gynaecologist and consider all your options.
Even though abortion is now legal in India, it is not socially acceptable. This means that women who have gone through an abortion are not looked upon favourably in the eyes of Indian society. But how can we make moral judgements on a decision so personal? Barring specific and sensitive cases- why should a woman need permission or approval from the government regarding matters of her own body? Isn’t control over her body her own right? These are the questions we must ask for a better life.