Abortion is when a pregnancy is ended, so it does not result in the birth of the child. It is also called the ‘termination of pregnancy’. There are two ways to terminate a pregnancy: in-clinic surgical abortion and an abortion pill. Both methods are safe and commonly used. If you want to learn about abortion in general, we are here to help.
As mentioned above, abortion can be done in two ways- medical or surgical.
- Medical abortion: A medical abortion is carried out using abortion pills. A person less than seven weeks pregnant can undergo a medical abortion by law. The process includes terminating a pregnancy with the help of pills and medication. It is a non-surgical method that one must perform under the supervision of a Gynaecologist. It requires one to do blood tests and sonography before and after; therefore, do not attempt this on your own as it may lead to complications.
- Surgical abortion or in-clinic abortion: If one wishes to perform an abortion beyond seven weeks of gestation, then the choice left is a surgical abortion. This method is much more effective than a medical abortion with a lower risk of an incomplete procedure.
Is abortion the right option for me?
Abortion is common, and people have an abortion for a varied number of reasons. Remember that only you know what is best for you, but good information and support can help you make the best decision for your well-being and health.
Why do people decide to get an abortion?
If you are thinking of getting an abortion, you are not alone. Sometimes, making the decision is simple, and other times it is complicated. In any case, dealing with an unplanned pregnancy is not easy and deciding to have an abortion is personal, and you are the only one who can do it. However, seeking help and support from loved ones goes a long way.
Everyone has their own unique and valid reason to have an abortion. Some of the reasons why people may decide to end the pregnancy include:
- They want to be the best possible parent to the children they already have.
- They are not ready to be a parent yet.
- The pregnancy is not advisable due to certain medical conditions.
- The foetus will not survive the pregnancy or will suffer after the birth.
- It is not a good time in their life to have a baby.
- They want to focus on school, work or other goals before having a baby.
- They are not in a relationship with someone whom they want to have a baby with.
- They were sexually assaulted.
- They are in an abusive relationship.
- They just don’t want to be a parent.
Deciding to have an abortion does not mean you do not like children or are cold-hearted. Sometimes people already have kids but do not want more as they feel their attention will divert from the kids they already have. And some people who have an abortion often go on to have a baby later when they are ready for it. The bottom line is that deciding whether you have to have a baby is a personal decision, and only you have the power to decide what is best for you and your family.
What do I have to keep in mind to help me decide?
Several things can influence your decision to have an abortion. These include family, relationships, school, work, life goals, health, safety, and personal beliefs. These things need to be thoroughly thought out before having an abortion.
Here are some questions to ask yourself if you are thinking of getting an abortion:
- Am I ready to be a parent?
- Would I consider adoption?
- How will my future change if I had a child now?
- How will having a baby affect my family?
- How will being a parent change my career goals?
- Do I have strong personal or religious beliefs that prevent me from getting an abortion?
- Is anyone pressuring me to have or not have an abortion?
- Will having the baby change my life in a way I do or don’t want?
- Will having an abortion change my life in a way I do or don’t want?
- What kind of support will I need if I decide to get an abortion? And will I get it?
- What kind of support will I need if I choose to have a baby? And will I get it?
Whatever your decision, it is personal. There are many things to consider, and it is entirely okay to have conflicting feelings and thoughts about making this decision. This is why you need to have factual and non-judgmental information about abortion. Seek the support of a trusted family member, friend, partner or other people you can trust.
Facts About Abortion Laws In India
Abortion is legal in certain situations, and there are different abortion laws for unmarried girls, rape victims and married women in India. There is a specific legal time for abortion in India, and when this is not followed, it becomes a punishable offence.
Who can perform an abortion in India under the law?
Every medical institution which has the license to perform medically assisted abortions in India by the government can perform an abortion. The doctor performing the surgery must meet one of the following qualifications:
- Must be a registered medical practitioner who has performed at least 25 medically assisted termination of pregnancy in India.
- Must be a surgeon with six months of experience in obstetrics and gynaecology.
- Must have a diploma or degree in obstetrics and gynaecology.
- Must be a doctor registered before the enactment of the MTP Ac, 1971 and with three years of experience in obstetrics and gynaecology.
- Must be a doctor who has registered after 1971 and has been practising obstetrics and gynaecology for at least a year.
When is abortion legal in India?
Abortion laws in India differ as per the situation, it is legal under some circumstances and illegal in others. The law states that if the person getting an abortion is an adult, then there is no parental or spousal approval for it.
As per the MTP Act, one can get an abortion in India until the 20th week of pregnancy. If the pregnancy is past its 12th week, as per the abortion law, you must have the opinion of a second doctor.
Doctors are allowed to provide the ‘morning-after pills’ as emergency contraception is called, up until the 7th week of pregnancy, making abortion legal as per Indian law.
As per the abortion law, the legality of abortion depends on the following factors:
- A woman has a serious disease, and pregnancy can endanger her life.
- If the pregnancy threatens the woman’s physical and mental health.
- The foetus has a risk of physical or psychological handicap.
- A woman contacts rubella (German measles) during the first three months of pregnancy.
- Any of the woman’s previous children had congenital abnormalities.
- The foetus suffers from RH disease.
- Exposure of the foetus to radiation.
- Pregnancy due to rape.
- The socioeconomic status of the woman might hamper a healthy pregnancy.
- Failure of contraception methods.
What is the legal age for abortion in India?
The abortion laws in India require unmarried girls to be above 18 years to get an abortion. If the woman is above 18 years of age, she can provide her written consent to get an abortion. If she is under 18 years of age, she needs her parents/guardian’s consent and a specific reason for the abortion of the pregnancy.
The legal period of abortion is 12 weeks of the foetus for any unmarried girl. In the absence of any of these conditions or consent, abortion is considered illegal