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Induced Abortion And The Indian M.t.p Act


About 30 million to 35 million abortions are taking place every year around the world. More than half of them are illegal and mostly performed by unskilled and untrained persons done under unhygienic conditions.


To avoid the misuse of induced abortions, most of the countries have legislated laws whereby only the qualified Gynecologists under conditions laid down by and done in hospitals/clinics that have been approved can make abortions. During 1950s abortions were legalized in Eastern Europe, China, and The Soviet Union followed by almost all the Western European countries, The United States, and few other countries. The world wide process of liberalization continued after 1980. This is called as the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act (also known as the MTP act).

The Indian M.T.P. Act

The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act was passed by the Indian Parliament in 1971 and came into force from 1st April, 1972. The MTP act again got revised in 1975. The MTP Act lays down the condition under which a pregnancy can be terminated, the persons and the place to perform it.

The reasons for MTP is done as interpreted from the Indian MTP Act are:

Where a pregnant woman has a serious medical disease and continuation of pregnancy could endanger her life such as:

Where the continuation of her pregnancy could lead to substantial risk to the newborn leading to serious physical or mental handicaps e.g.,

  • Chromosomal abnormalities.
  • Rubella (German measles) viral infection to mother during the first three months.
  • If previous kids have congenital abnormalities.
  • Rh iso-immunization.
  • Exposure of the fetus to irradiation.
  • Heart diseases – This condition is a unique feature of the Indian Law. All the pregnancies can be terminated using this criterion
  • If married, her own written consent and husband’s consent is not required.
  • If unmarried and above 18years of age, her own written consent is required.
  • If below 18 years of age, written consent of her guardian is required.
  • If she is mentally unstable, written consent of her guardian is required.
Consent assures the clinician performing the abortion that she: Has been informed about all the options and she has been counseled about the procedure, risks, and how to take care for her after she has chosen the abortion of her own free will.

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