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Yes! Abortion is legal in India but illegal in some circumstances. According to abortion law in India if a person who is getting an abortion is above 18 years of age then there is no need for a spouse or parental approval for it.


There is no specific age given for abortion in India but according to (MTP) act, you can perform an abortion until the 20th week of pregnancy you are required to take an opinion from a second doctor if 12 weeks have been completed according to the law of abortion in India. In 2002 and 2003 amendments to the MPT act have passed which allow doctors to provide a ‘Morning-after pill’ until 7 weeks of pregnancy after prescription, therefore making abortion legal in India. In many countries abortion is legal but we can see that there are many countries where abortion is illegal at any stage. India’s main aim is to reduce illegal abortion and maternal mortality. Most of the time it comes to premarital pregnancy in India and the Post-divorce process in India. Young girls indulge in love, often dealing with this end without having to use contraceptives during sex. In such cases, to maintain the dignity of the family abortion seems to be the only way out.


1) If a woman has a serious illness and pregnancy can ruin her health.

2) Pregnancy can damage physical or mental health.

3) If there are chances of handicap.

4) A woman gets ‘rubella’ during the first three months of pregnancy.

5) Any previous woman’s children had birth defects.

6) The fetus is infected with RH.

7) Exposure to embryos by radiation.

8) In the case of  “rape”.

9) A woman’s socioeconomic status can disrupt a healthy pregnancy.

10) If the Contraceptive device fails.


While all medical facilities licensed to have abortions with medical aid in India by the government must also produce a certificate issued by the government.


  • The registered medical professional who has performed at least 25 medically assisted termination of pregnancy in India.
  • A surgeon who has six months of experience in maternity and
  • A person who has a degree and diploma in both.
  • Physician registered before the enactment of the MTP Act, 1971, and with three years of experience in obstetrics and gynecology.


In India, still, people consider abortion of fortes as inhuman and criminal. But, many laws show that either it is legal or illegal in India.

INDIAN PENAL CODE (IPC) – Until 1971, the Indian Penal Code (IPC) provided abortion services in India. Legally, however, the IPC does not provide specific abortion-related services. But it deals with miscarriage under sections 312 to 316 of the code.

MEDICAL TERMINATION OF PREGNANCY ACT – Also known as the act of abortion in India. It deals with the provisions of abortion laws in India. The action provides that you can terminate the pregnancy for up to the first 12 weeks with a doctor’s permission. To have an abortion between 12-and 20 weeks of pregnancy, you need the consent of two doctors. Authorization is mandatory to ensure that abortion is compliant with Indian law or not. This practice does not provide for an optional abortion.

There are two types of abortion:

  • MEDICAL ABORTION – A woman less than seven weeks pregnant may have a medical abortion. This process involves terminating a pregnancy with the help of pills and medicines. It is a non-surgical procedure that is performed under the supervision of a physician.
  • SURGICAL ABORTION – If a woman wishes to have an abortion after seven weeks of pregnancy, then a man can have an abortion surgically. These are more effective than medical abortion, which has a lower risk of an incomplete procedure.


The IPC also regulates the abortion law of India, so sections 312-316 of the Indian Criminal Code of 1860 provide for the situation. These indicate when abortion is illegally punished. And according to these laws miscarriage is a crime. If a man forcefully aborts a woman, he can be imprisoned for 3 years. especially when it is not done in good faith to save a woman.

In India, Abortion is illegal in two ways:

  • When a woman is with a baby it means that her pregnancy has already started.
  • The motion of a child can be felt by a mother when she is quick with the child.

In India, if a woman carrying a baby has an abortion, it is punishable by a fine and up to seven years imprisonment. Even if a woman herself has had a miscarriage, the law can still hold her accountable. Women who have had miscarriages are also subject to this provision. However, in India, abortion is permitted under section 312 on “therapeutic indications”. In other words, it is not a crime if an abortion is necessary to protect the mother’s life.


  • According to the law of abortion in India, the legal age for girls to abort a child is 18 years.
  • Those women who are at the age of above 18 but are still unmarried can give their consent regarding abortion but girls who are below 18 have to give written consent from their guardians for a specific reason.
  • The period for legal abortion in India is 12 weeks of the fetus of any unmarried girl and is registered by a medical professional. But if the woman is mentally disturbed then it can be written by her guardian as per the MTP act,1971.

All these are compulsory steps for legal abortion in India.

“Abortion is part of being a mother and of caring for children because part of caring for children is knowing when it’s not a good idea to bring them into the world.”

– Katha Pollitt

Author’s Name: Krishna Dhakad (Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies)

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