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Forced Abortion: The Non-Consensual Termination of Pregnancy

“Hello there! I’m here to provide you with a bit of information on what forced abortions are, its various facets, and the Indian laws relevant to this abuse. Experiencing abuse in any form is NOT OKAY, but what you are experiencing as a result of abuse is valid. What you, as a bystander, are going through while supporting a survivor is absolutely okay and typical too!  If you need additional resources or just someone to talk to, feel free to reach out to Imaara Foundation."

(Image source: Times of India)

Written By: Kashmeera Balamurale

What is abortion and what are its types?

  1. Abortion: An early termination of pregnancy, which can happen spontaneously or deliberately.

  2. Spontaneous abortion: A woman suffering from miscarriage.

  3. Induced abortion: A woman who ends her pregnancy through a surgical or medical method.

Abortion has been made legal in India under various circumstances. Currently, the law on abortion is regulated by the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act 1971 (“MTP Act”).

Forced abortion:

  • Causing a woman to abort a fetus through fraud, coercion, or threats.

  • Uses a situation to their advantage where the pregnant person is unable to provide consent.

  • Pursuant to Section 312 of the Indian Penal Code, whoever voluntarily causes a woman with child to miscarry, not done in good faith commits a crime (Hickok, 2022). The provision is read as follows:-

“312. Causing miscarriage.—Whoever voluntarily causes a woman with child to miscarry, shall, if such miscarriage be not caused in good faith for the purpose of saving the life of the woman, be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both; and, if the woman be quick with child*, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.”

* If a woman is quick with child, it means she is at an advanced stage of pregnancy.

What are the abortion rates in India?

When can a pregnancy be terminated in India?

Where can a pregnancy be terminated?

Who is eligible for a termination of pregnancy?

Why do forced abortions occur?

What are the consequences of sex selective abortions?

Gender determination tests?

What are the references for this article?

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