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  Opinion   Edit  13 Oct 2023  AA Edit | Abortion: Compassion is the key

AA Edit | Abortion: Compassion is the key

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Oct 13, 2023, 12:49 am IST
Updated : Oct 13, 2023, 12:49 am IST

It is not enough that there is a law and it must be ensured that its advantages reach its intended beneficiaries

A woman would seek to terminate her pregnancy only if she faces physical, psychological or social circumstances which make it untenable for her to go ahead with it. (Photo: Pixabay)
 A woman would seek to terminate her pregnancy only if she faces physical, psychological or social circumstances which make it untenable for her to go ahead with it. (Photo: Pixabay)

India has a liberal view on terminating pregnancies compared to several other nations and the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 2021, allows a woman to abort her foetus aged up to 24 weeks. However, there are a number of instances where pregnant women are being forced to knock on the doors of the high courts, and even the Supreme Court, for a favourable order.

In the latest case, a division bench of two women judges on Wednesday differed in their opinions on granting the petition of a woman with a 26-week pregnancy for permission to abort her foetus and referred the case to the Chief Justice of India for getting the opinion of a third judge. It may be noted that it was the government which returned to the court seeking to annul the earlier order of the bench allowing abortion.  

A woman would seek to terminate her pregnancy only if she faces physical, psychological or social circumstances which make it untenable for her to go ahead with it, and the law recognises it. However, it appears that the benefits of the law reach only those women who can successfully negotiate the slow-paced, and often costly, judicial process. It was not long ago when the apex court chided a high court for adjourning a woman’s petition seeking permission for abortion for weeks when every single day was crucial to her.

It is not enough that there is a law and it must be ensured that its advantages reach its intended beneficiaries, especially people who are either vulnerable or at a very vulnerable point in their lives. The government must frame rules and set up mechanisms which are fast, easy and accessible and ensure that the petitioners are treated with compassion and empathy. It should leave it to the judiciary and the people concerned to arrive at a decision instead of worrying too much about the rights of each unborn child. 

Tags: aa edit, abortion, pregnanacy