What is Abortion?
Abortion is the expulsion or extraction of an embryo or fetus weighing 500 grams or less from its mother when it’s not capable of independent survival i.e., the period of viability. It can be spontaneous or induced totally based on the circumstances the mother fetus and the family dwells in.
According to WHO, every year in the world there are an estimated 40-50 million abortions with11–15% contribution from India alone. This astounding figure tells us the quintessence of abortion either be it medically, socioeconomically or may be due to religious practices and customs that silently haunt as ghosts in the books and corners of India.
Though abortion legally coined as medical termination of pregnancy need not always be medically assisted, it also depends on the female’s compliance leading to miscarriages. It is always been a topic of open debate. No matter what perspective we observe in ethical, religious or a legal point, no one has the right to kill another life intentionally until it shows signs of failure to thrive in the years ahead to provide the opportunity to the life and people around the life to never live ahead in misery and guilt.
Laws related to Abortion
Over the years there is much heard, seen and unseen controversies on abortion though it has been made ethical under legal boundaries, it has always been misused by the various counterparts in the nation. There are laws to prevent such mishaps though sometimes the things done behind the blindfolded justice becomes unnoticed.
In India, on August 10, 1971, the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Bill was passed by both the Houses of Parliament and received the President’s assent. It was enacted into law as “The MTP Act, 1971.” This law ensures that women in India have the right to have an unintended pregnancy terminated by a registered medical practitioner in a government-run or maintained hospital.
The main intention for formulation of this law was to provide a safe environment for the gravid females where they develop complications early and mid-gestations in consideration of the mother’s health. Though the earlier stipulated time was within 20 weeks, the new amendment has extended it to a period of 24 weeks allowing enough time and consideration for the mother to terminate her pregnancy base in a valid reason and legally justifiable.
During this complete evolution on the definition and choice of abortion there raised two mass movement one being the pro-choice movement and the other being the pro-life movement.
People who believe in pro-choice movement believe the concept of wellbeing of one before another who is yet to take birth entitling women of their choice making contraception sex education and abortion legally accepted. While the pro-life believes in the thought ‘life from a life’ that means irrespective of the difficulty the mother faces be it pain or pleasure, she is chained by the teachings of the religious and spiritual entities and obliged to answer them.
But none of them purely talk about pro-abortion and anti-abortion. More than life, it becomes a battle ground for inherent abuses which is completely remorse upon. No matter what, it’s always difficult to be in the shoes of an expecting mother. The emotions felt during this time span can only be learnt from her alone. Though the act of giving birth has always been considered the most pious act to create a life from and within self but it’s always been a part of reproduction and continuation of life as a species .
Rising cases of rape of girls of teen age group where they themselves are physically not mature enough to provide nutrition to another life, it become necessary for her to get the fetus aborted to prevent on-bed or gestational complications.
We should also remember our role and choose hassle free life choices. Constant awareness about sex education and using of appropriate contraception measures must be practiced to prevent the conflicts within the deflected movement.
The choice of being a mother comes with added responsibilities. At times, she’s unexperienced and tender to make such sacrifices, rather she would desire to make choices to fulfill her goals and dreams. In a patriarchal society, women are idolized for their sexuality, fertility and ability to reproduce and sustain life for a very long period ceasing her freedom . She has to dwell in her choices to self-care, love and nourish, and hold responsible for an entire young life germinating in her womb. Is she accountable for such responsibilities, should be our question.
This privilege to nurture a future and carry in her womb for approximately 40 weeks shouldn’t burden her but be her own well thought personal choice.
At this time, abortion is still a privilege in every nook and corner of the countries, where tender mothers carry young lives unaware of laws and choice to opt for abortion. It is still enjoyed by a privileged part of society. At times, inhumanity precedes law and makes people lose belief in the legal structure of the country. Laxity of laws in such circumstances would lead to huge proportions of irrational abortions in the country which should never occur in the first place. We should stand as ‘society as a whole’ rather joining groups of prochoice and prolife because it will make a difference to the burdened mother and fetus’s life to live without any forethoughts. We should strive to make abortion a safe space for women to emerge stronger in society and respect her decision on legal humane grounds. Mother should remain the main stake holder irrespective of what privileges she is entitled within the present and future generations to come.
KLE Society’s Law College