Abortion is a fundamental healthcare need for millions of girls and women who can become pregnant, without planning or wanting it. It is the pregnancy’s termination by removing or expulsing a foetus, or an embryo — unplanned or unwanted pregnancy is common, and abortion is a way of coming out of it.
US Supreme Court has recently ended the constitutional right to abortion, and states can ban it now, making it completely illegal, hence unsafe. Before discussing this ridiculous decision in the West, Let’s talk about India.
Laws on Abortion in Bharat
Not only is abortion still a right in India, but it is also covered 100 per cent by the Government’s public national health insurance funds, Ayushman Bharat, and Employees’ State Insurance. A woman who is unmarried and over 18 years of age can provide her own written consent to get an abortion. If your pregnancy is under 20 weeks, you can legally abort a child in India.
According to the MHFW (Ministry of Health and Family Welfare), an abortion in India is entirely legal under this act if it is terminated in the span of 20 weeks (around five months), has the consent of a doctor, and is performed by a medical professional at a recognised medical institution.
Plus, the name and other particulars of a girl whose pregnancy has been terminated cannot be revealed except to an individual authorised by law. Abortion in India is safe and regulated, and there is also a secrecy clause attached to it.
What is banned in India?
It is illegal in Bharat to determine or disclose the sex of the foetus to anyone. Bharat has banned sex-selective abortion. In Bharat, prenatal sex determination was banned in 1994 CE under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act. A woman cannot stroll into a pharmacy to take a pill for pregnancy termination unless she has a prescription from a qualified medical practitioner. This is done to ensure the safety of the woman as only a doctor can decide what kind of abortion suits best for the girl.
In Contrast, the American Laws
On the other hand, America has banned abortion irrespective of the girl’s condition. This will have life-altering and, indeed, life-threatening consequences for women in America. Forcing someone to have a baby against their will has terrible impacts, destroying their life, career, and education plans and throwing them into a future they never wanted or envisioned for themselves. This would especially destroy women’s employment, education, and earning prospects. Unsafe abortion is a leading – but completely preventable – cause of morbidities and maternal deaths. It can also lead to mental and physical health complications as well as financial and social burdens for communities, women, and health systems.
America has banned abortion irrespective of the girl’s condition. This will have life-altering and, indeed, life-threatening consequences for women in America. Forcing someone to have a baby against their will has terrible impacts, destroying their life, career, and education plans and throwing them into a future they never wanted or envisioned for themselves. This would especially destroy women’s employment, education, and earning prospects
After this ban, unsafe abortion will run rampant in America; self-induced abortions, abortions in bad, unhygienic conditions, and abortions performed by shady medical practitioners who do not provide the correct post-abortion attention will become a norm.
It’s also a known fact that unintended pregnancy rates are highest in nations that deny abortion access and lowest in nations where abortion is accessible. Unintended pregnancy leads to unwanted babies, which has always been a problem in North Africa. America is sadly trying to attract similar problems by banning abortion.
Is Abortion Safe?
A few people have congratulated America for taking this historic step because they feel abortion is unsafe. However, science tells us otherwise. According to WHO, abortion is a standard health intervention. It is safe when carried out using a technique recommended by WHO, appropriate to the approx pregnancy duration, and by someone with the required skills. Lack of access to safe, timely, affordable, and respectful abortion care is a critical public health and human rights issue.
Around 45 per cent of all abortions are unsafe because they’re carried out in nations where abortion is banned; hence, no safety protocols are followed there. Banning abortion is dangerous because illegal things need no regulation, and this means doctors will follow no safety measures there. In other words, when countries prohibit access to abortions, girls are compelled to resort to covert, dangerous abortions, especially those who cannot afford to seek private care or travel. Outlawing abortion does not prevent abortions; it just makes abortions unsafe.
I’m lucky to be born in Bharat, where safe abortions are possible, and laws are scientifically driven. We have multiple religions in Bharat, and ethical and religious aspects can be debatable, but laws are not written on ethics here. If people who smoke have access to doctors after they damage their lungs, if people who drink can seek help from medical practitioners after they mess up their livers, a girl who is pregnant (which is not like smoking/drinking) must be allowed to seek a safe abortion if she is not ready to carry a child.