The word 'abortion' has always been a sensitive topic. Throughout history, induced abortions have been a source of considerable debate and controversy. Many countries still consider it as murder, while women's rights insists it to be a woman's fundamental right to have control over her body.
In 1971, abortion was made legal in India when the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act was passed with an aim to reduce illegal abortion and maternal mortality. In a society which considers sexuality as taboo, the MTP act was a welcome move and a validation of a woman's fundamental right. It also established bodily sovereignty wherein each woman has the sole right to make decisions about what happens to her body. Here are some things you should know about Abortion in India. So stay safe and well informed!
What is Abortion?
Wikipedia defines abortion as the removal or expulsion of an embryo or fetus from the uterus, resulting in, or caused by, its death. This can occur spontaneously as a miscarriage, or be artificially induced through chemical, surgical or other means.
When can it be done?
Abortion in India is legal only up to twenty weeks of pregnancy under specific conditions and situations which are broadly defined as:
A woman has the right to abort:
Where and Who can perform the abortion:
Abortions can be performed in any medical institution that is licensed by the government to perform medically assisted terminations of pregnancy. Such institutions must display a certificate issued by the government.
Abortions must be performed by a doctor with one of the following qualifications:
Types of Abortion treatment:
There are two types of abortion treatment, 'Medical' and 'Surgical' abortion:
Medical abortion: A type of non-surgical abortion which involves taking medication to cause an early miscarriage. Abortifacient pharmaceutical drugs made by combination of two medications, mifepristone and misoprostol is an option for women who are 10 weeks pregnant or less.
Abortion pill from 10 weeks up to 24 weeks: Involves taking medication to cause the womb to contract and push out the pregnancy.
Surgical abortion: Surgical abortion is a procedure that ends a pregnancy by removing the fetus and placenta from the mother's womb and involves a quick, minor operation. There are two types of surgical abortion:
Vacuum aspiration ( first trimester) which removes the pregnancy by gentle suction with local anaesthetic.
Dilation and evacuation is done when an abortion occurs in (second trimester) of pregnancy. It usually includes a combination of vacuum aspiration, dilation and curettage and the use of surgical instruments (such as forceps) to clear the uterus of fetal and placental tissue.