US Abortion Laws Vs Indian Abortion Laws

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The latest news about US Abortion Laws has spread like wildfire. US has placed a ban on Abortion recently in 2022, overriding the Roe VS Wade case and also the Planned Parenthood Vs. Casey case. Recently, Indiana became the world’s first nation to ban abortions since the US passed the law. On this, a manufacturing company (Cummins) stated,” Decisions made on reproductive health is a right held by women to have equal opportunities and participation in the workforce.” 

This company, along with a pharma company located in Indiana, also joins the list that provides reproductive health care to women where this ban has been put into place. The list also includes Apple and Levi Strauss, to name a few. The abortion ban in Indiana is to be put into effect by September 15th. The administration also anathematizes these laws by politicians instead of leaving them to the women and the medical professionals.

Abortion Rights: How Will The U.S Abortion Law Rollback Affect India? | NewsMo | India Today

The Scenario Of Abortion Laws In India 

Amendments Made To The MTP Act & The Current Scenario

The MTP Act, also known as Medical Termination of Pregnancy, has recently had amendments approved by the Rajya Sabha on March 16th, 2021. The amendments put into place are:

  • The increasing of the gestation period from 20-24 weeks for categories of women like victims of rape, incest, and others, which the amendment will explain clearly.
  • For the 20 weeks of gestation, the termination act will take the stance of one provider but two in the case of 24 weeks.
  • A medical professional or any authorial figure shall not publicize the details of the woman going through this. 
  • If the contraceptive fails, the medical board will extend the state of this failure to the woman and the partner. 
  • Beyond 24 weeks of pregnancy, if there’re any fetal abnormalities or cases of sexual violence, then the Medical Board and the person in authority have to give a pass to conduct to terminate the pregnancy. 

Pre-Conception And Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, 1994

The Pre-Conception & Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, also known as (PCPNDT Act), is passed to prevent foeticides in females, stopping the slowly decreasing sex ratio in India. 

This Act includes barring gender selection, pre- and post-conception, making sure that pre-natal techniques are only used to detect abnormalities, disorders, etc. No medical center will be allowed to perform any test to determine the sex of the fetus. If any person puts up an advertisement for sex determination, they will be imprisoned for three years and fined 10,000 rupees. 

These Amendments to the Act help women be safe before and after conception. 

Present Scenario Of US Abortion Laws

With the ban on abortion being put into place by the US Supreme Court on June 24th, 2022, the states are either placing bans or protecting the right to abortion. The Court, taking the side of Dobbs in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, which overrules Roe v. Wade case, has now made every state decide on what they should execute in the absence of a federal standard. However, there is no clarity on what access to abortion will be like in states that do not have laws explicitly for abortion rights or prohibition.

History Of Abortion Laws In The US

Roe Vs. Wade (1973)

Roe Vs. Wade, a case relating to abortion rights, is one of the most controversial cases in US history. Norma McCorvey, her legal pseudonym being Jane Roe, 1969, came to Court with a plea to abort her third child. She was from Texas, where abortion was illegal until it involved saving the mother’s life. Her attorneys, Sarah Weddington and Linda Coffee issued a lawsuit against the district attorney, Henry Wade, stating that the abortion laws in Texas were unconstitutional. 

After four long years, on 1973 January 22nd, the Court finally issued its verdict, stating that the Fourteenth Amendment in the Constitution provides a right to privacy, which protects a pregnant woman’s right to abortion on her basis. But the Court also ruled that there must be a balance between the government’s interests to protect the woman’s health with her abortion rights. 

Planned Parenthood Vs. Casey (1992)

Planned Parenthood Vs. Casey case was held due to Governor Robert Casey 1988 and 1989 abolishing five abortion laws. They were: A woman had to wait for a certain period for consent, a minor should have parental consent, a married woman had to inform her husband, and last but not most minor clinics should provide pertinent information to the woman and wait at least 24 hours before it. Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit against Casey in regards to the constitutionality of the statutes.

In 1992, The Court allowed four provisions to remain, and the fifth provision, informing the spouse of the abortion, was invalidated by the Court as a final verdict. The Court’s critical judgment upholds that the Fourteenth Amendment protects a woman’s right to abortion and that abortion restrictions are unconstitutional if they placed an “undue burden on the woman and placed an obstacle in her path for abortion.”

Dobbs Vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organisation (2022)

The case began in Mississippi, where Jackson Women’s Health Organisation sued Thomas E. Dobbs, a health officer because Mississippi law banned abortion after 15 weeks of a woman’s pregnancy. There had been a mandate that ruled that abortion should not ban abortion before 24 weeks of gestation because the Fourteenth Amendment protects a woman’s choice for abortion.

Mississippi contended that there is no right to abortion in the Constitution, and states have a free rule on banning abortions. According to the Tenth Amendment, the state doesn’t have powers to make treaties, but they have access to restrict abortion. 

Jackson’s Women Health Organization has stated that the Due Process Clause protects bodily integrity and physical autonomy. Furthermore, contraception is also included in “liberty.” Additionally, they pointed out that federal courts have enforced a viability line with Mississippi through Dobbs, arguing that the “viability line” was too subjective. 

Most reports say that abortion is not a constitutional right and is also not so deeply rooted in US history. Therefore, the Court must hand over the judgment to ban or protect abortion to the state. This final verdict overruled both Roe and Casey cases and had Dobbs on the winning side of the case. 

History Of Abortion Laws In India

Medical Termination Of Pregnancy (MTP) Act (1971)

According to the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, passed in 1971, women are allowed to abort by doctors based on specific directives. Twelve weeks of pregnancy can be terminated, on the opinion of one doctor, and 20 weeks if it is by two doctors. A medical professional can only perform this Act if the woman or the fetus is involved in grave danger that can be mental, emotional, or physical, including rape or other sexual abuse. Another point to add here is that this Act can take place at any moment only if the woman’s life is at risk.

Abortion laws in India- IN NEWS I Drishti IAS  English | Drishti IAS : English

Conclusion

There is no doubt that abortion is a sensitive and also a complex topic to touch on. For many women, it is seen as a life-saving act, but for a few, it is a crime. This act can only There is no doubt that abortion is a sensitive and also a complex topic to touch on. For many women, it is seen as a life-saving act, but for a few, it is a crime. This act can only be based on what brought the woman to be making a decision for abortion.

Women can’t access abortions, much less legal abortions, in many parts of the world. And where there is access, safety comes into play with poor lack of regulation, services, or political views. 

At the same time, a contrasting statement is that a small percentage of countries prohibit all abortion. In many countries, abortion is at least allowed to save a woman’s life if the conception is a product of rape or abuse. But even this should not be an end to thinking and planning Acts and rules to help women gain a better life by providing them with more extensive ground for abortion. 

It might be arguable that abortion is not explicitly included in any natural laws from the Constitution in many countries. But it is a person’s right to have control of their own body in any law under the Constitution.

Reference 

2 thoughts on “US Abortion Laws Vs Indian Abortion Laws

  • August 10, 2022 at 11:42 pm
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