Miscarriage Legal Issues in India

The decision was welcomed by reproductive rights activists, who said the court had ensured that the law was not discriminatory and extended the right to safe and legal abortions to single women. With limited mobility, increased reports of intimate partner violence, changes in migrant lifestyles, delays in access to contraception and safe abortions, and possible changes in parenting decisions, there is an increased need for safe abortion services in India due to the pandemic. Extending telemedicine to medical abortion information, support and services can be a safe and revolutionary way to expand access to safe and legal abortion. Although, according to WHO guidelines, first-trimester abortions can be performed safely on one`s own as long as there is access to information and support, and in cases of complications in a facility,40 abortions outside health care facilities without an RMP prescription are currently illegal. [42] Improve women`s access to legal abortion services: The law, in its current form, establishes certain operational barriers that limit women`s access to safe and legal abortion services. The amendments propose the following: Another report by the Pratigya campaign assesses the role of the judiciary in providing access to safe abortions. The report[43] highlights the increasing number of cases subject to court approval. Although a number of dismissal decisions are based on the opinion of the Medical Association and on jurisprudence already established in previous cases, some groundbreaking judgments have also come to light in recent years. This underscores the need for the law to keep pace with the changing times. It is imperative that access to abortion becomes a legal right for pregnant women, at least during the first trimester. It is necessary that the opinion of the doctor who consults the woman be considered primary, and the only one necessary. The establishment of medical associations by the courts when dealing with such cases has only created additional barriers for women to access safe and legal abortions.

Prior to 1971, abortion was criminalized under Section 312 of the Indian Penal Code of 1860,[5] which described it as an intentional “miscarriage”. [6] Except in cases where an abortion was performed to save the woman`s life, it was a criminal offence and criminalized women/caregivers, with the person who intentionally caused a woman`s miscarriage with a child[7] risking three years in prison and/or a fine, and the woman who used the service faced seven years` imprisonment and/or a fine. Abortion in India has been legal under various circumstances over the past 50 years with the introduction of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act in 1971. The law was amended in 2003 to allow women access to safe and legal abortion services. [1] In addition, women who become ill as a result of miscarriage are entitled to up to one month`s paid leave upon presentation of appropriate medical evidence. [32] [33] The CAC service is an integral part of the NHM`s maternal health programme. However, awareness of the legality and availability of abortion services is very low. In addition, the IDF conducted studies to understand awareness of the legality of abortion among both men and women and found that awareness and legality were low. [17] [18] Although some people are aware of their legal abortion rights, they do not know where to access abortion services. This inaccessibility of abortion services is mainly due to moral and political reasons. In addition, women are not easily informed about abortion services or the possibility of abortion, except in emergency situations or cases where the baby is in poor health. [19] The registration requirement also hinders young people`s access to safe abortion services.

The merger of the POCSO and MTP laws results in the denial of services for sexual and consensual assault of minors. Previously, the MTP required the consent of a guardian for a minor and this remains the case, but due to the POCSO Act, mandatory reporting complicates the problem, and providers are reluctant to provide safe abortion services to minors, even in cases of assault, which creates a strong incentive to resort to unsafe abortions to avoid legal problems; and further complicate parents who take advantage of the opportunity to harass children or their partners with prison sentences of 7 to 10 years. Millions of women around the world rely on a range of abortion solutions from expensive private clinics to charlatans. Unwritten and unwritten and unspoken biases follow them from menstruation to pregnancy to menopause, in most cases without legal or family support. The amendment removed a number of uncertainties. There is no turning back, and this is a big step for women. The MTP Act states: (i) who can terminate a pregnancy; (ii) until a pregnancy can be terminated; and (iii) where a pregnancy can be terminated. The 2003 LMP rules and regulations set out training and certification requirements for a supplier and an institution. and provide reporting and documentation requirements for safe and legal abortion.

That is why we need laws. They don`t always reflect a society`s values, but in the face of uncertainty, laws must provide a framework within which people can navigate with certainty whether they know what is legal and what is not. This clearly shows that the border can be considered arbitrary, but it is necessary. It does not reflect what is right and what is wrong. In the case of abortion, the legislator has set a certain time limit. For some countries, it is 12 weeks, for others like India, it is now 24 weeks. In India, the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act 1971 allows legal abortions under certain conditions. According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, an abortion is legal in India under this law if it is interrupted within 20 weeks (approximately 5 months), has the approval of a doctor, and is performed by a doctor at a recognized medical facility. Even after 50 years of the Medical Abortion Act,[1] abortion has not been decriminalized. The Indian Penal Code of 1860 (IPC) makes abortion (“induced miscarriage”) an offence under Section 312. [7] The MTP Act is the exception to this law.

The law protects general practitioners by setting certain conditions under which they can terminate the pregnancy. In addition, the MTP specifically mentions pregnant “women,” making abortion services inaccessible to transgender, genderqueer, and gender non-conforming people, as well as other gender-identified people who do not identify as women. Offering abortion via telemedicine can provide clients with a legal, safe, and sustained experience: expanding the use of telemedicine for abortion can provide legal protection for those who fend for themselves without a prescription without having to physically meet with a PMI. Given the need for medical abortion in India and the already existing self-use in large numbers, the openness of clients and providers to use technology for health, and the established safety of abortions through telemedicine from global models, it is clear that there is an appetite for abortion services with telemedicine. The provision of abortion in the public sector faces several challenges – lack of skilled personnel, equipment and materials, and non-judgmental care to the extent permitted by law, to name a few.38 Telemedicine for abortion can not only help fill gaps in the provision of safe abortions in the public sector, but can also serve as a viable choice. even if high-quality services are available, as this would reduce the burden on health care infrastructure by reducing face-to-face visits and improving clients` privacy and confidentiality needs. By extending telemedicine to medical abortions, India can pave the way for safe access to abortions not only during the pandemic, but also create an opportunity for long-term impact.

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