One of the most common dilemma, medical students and practitioners face across the globe is over the ethics of abortion. while some say that practicing medical termination of pregnancy, within the legal parameter’s are justifiable, there are a group who advocate that the entire act of elimination of a fetus to be “satanic’

Abortion is the termination of a pregnancy by the removal or expulsion from the uterus of a fetus or embryo, resulting in or caused by its death. An abortion can occur spontaneously due to complication during pregnancy or can be induced, in humans and other species. In the context of human pregnancies, an abortion induced to preserve the health of the gravida (pregnant female) is termed a therapeutic abortion, while an abortion induced for any other reason is termed an elective abortion. The term abortion most commonly refers to the induced abortion of a human pregnancy, while spontaneous abortions are usually termed miscarraiges.

The abortion, I’m referring to here is the Therapeutic abortion or induced abortion or medical termination of pregnancy.

before i explain the pro’s and cones of  this, i want to specify the explanation of MTP and why is it applied in the first place.

The entire explanation of the legal abortion in India can be obtained from the link provide below.

in short, below is the extract mentioning, When pregnancies may be terminated by registered medical practitioners –

(1)               Notwithstanding anything contained in the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860), a registered medical practitioner shall not be guilty of any offence under that Code or under any other law for the time being in force, if any pregnancy is terminated by him in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

(2)               Subject to the provisions of sub-section (4), a pregnancy may be terminated by a registered medical practitioner, –

(a)                Where the length of the pregnancy does not exceed twelve weeks if such medical practitioner is, or

(b)               Where the length of the pregnancy exceeds twelve weeks but does not exceed twenty weeks, if not less than two registered medical practitioner are,

of opinion, formed in good faith, that –

(i)               the continuance of the pregnancy would involve a risk to the life of the pregnant woman or of grave injury to her physical or mental health; or

(ii)       there is a substantial risk that if the child were born, it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities to be seriously handicapped.

Explanation 1 – Where any pregnancy is alleged by the pregnant woman to have been caused by rape, the anguish caused by such pregnancy shall be presumed to constitute a grave injury to the mental health of the pregnant woman.

Explanation 2 – Where any pregnancy occurs as a result of failure of any device or method used by any married woman or her husband for the purpose of limiting the number of children, the anguish caused by such unwanted pregnancy may be resumed to constitute a grave injury to the mental health of the pregnant woman.

(3)               In determining whether the continuance of a pregnancy would involve such risk of injury to the health as is mentioned in sub-section (2), account may be taken of the pregnant women’s actual or reasonable foreseeable environment.

(4)               (a)        No pregnancy of a woman, who has not attained the age of eighteen years, or, who, having attained the age of eighteen years, is a lunatic, shall be terminated except with the consent in writing of her guardian.

(b)        Save as otherwise provided in clause (a), no pregnancy shall be terminated except with the consent of the pregnant woman.

so, how is it done?

An abortion can be done in many ways.

1. surgical abortions

2. non-surgical abortions.

A pregnancy can be intentionally aborted in many ways. The manner selected depends chiefly upon the gestational age of the embryo or fetus, which increases in size as it ages.

so, lets come to the main issue of the topic?? Is it justified??

Again, as i started my article, i said about the dilemma it causes. On one side you stand with the responsiblity to do what is good on behalf of your patient and on other side certain morals, you believe in.

As far as I’m concerned, i would prefer abortion if it is done according to the clauses mentioned according to the clauses mentioned in the MTP act of Indian Government, but i dont justify when it is done in

1. Sex-selective abortion and female infanticide

2. unsafe abortion

A clinician actually lives in a world of dual entente.

in one part of the gynecology ward, he has to attend to a delivery and see a joy face of a life being born and on another side of the hospital he has to attend a D&C to abort a foetus.

There are debates on the hypothesis of chance for breast cancer or fetal pain for fetus while abortion.

some of the other debates involved are

  • Are embryos, zygotes and fetuses “persons” worthy of legal protections?
  • Should the potential to be a person give embryos, zygotes and fetuses a right to life?
  • Does a fetus gain rights as it gets closer to birth?
  • Does a woman have an absolute right to determine what happens to her body?
  • Is abortion acceptable in cases of rape, incest, contraception failure?
  • Is abortion acceptable in cases where the foetus is deformed?
  • Is abortion acceptable in cases where if the pregnancy were to continue, it would pose a direct threat to the life of the mother?

In many of the cases it would be hard to reach a conclusion because most of them are like two sides of a coin. you cant determine the right one. Personally, it would be appreciable if the parents of an fetus decide whether he should be born or not.

Parenting, is a huge responsibility and not a burden. Both the husband and wife have to make contribution. As far as the important issues are concerned, i believe that at most of the places in the world, there are still on going foeticides because the fetus is female.

Amniocentesis, and other advanced techniques are largely misused. A technology that was developed so that the actual status and health of a developing fetus be understood is largely used for sex determination. In most of the developed world, there is no difference, whether the chld is a girl or boy. But the same is not the condition on other parts of the world.

In 1991, the male-to-female sex ratio in India was skewed from its biological norm of 105 to 100, to an average of 108 to 100. Researchers have asserted that between 1985 and 2005 as many as 10 million female fetuses may have been selectively aborted. The Indian government passed an official ban of pre-natal sex screening in 1994 and moved to pass a complete ban of sex-selective abortion in 2002.

The main reason for the preferences of male child in India, include social conditions like Dowry, which is the amount paid by a brides family to the groom as a ‘compensation’. Also, there are other aspect like economy and family earning.

This is a major issue in India. But today at most of the places the scenario is changing. Better education and living standard as well as the upliftment of women from the corridors of home, to be working community have improved the sex ratio.

Another major area of concern is the unsafe abortion. Sometimes, due to fear of public exposure of sexual status, some women resort to unsafe methods of abortion. These include certain practices, which are largely unhygenic, certain abortificant, which are potent toxins etc.

The world health org (WHO) defines an unsafe abortion as being “a procedure … carried out by persons lacking the necessary skills or in an environment that does not conform to minimal medical standards, or both.” Unsafe abortions are sometimes known colloquially as “back-alley” abortions. This can include a person without medical training, a professional health provider operating in sub-standard conditions, or the woman herself

Unsafe abortion remains a concern today due to the higher incidence and severity of its associated complications, such as incomplete abortion, sepsis, hemorrhage, and damage to internal organs. WHO estimates that 19 million unsafe abortions occur around the world annually and that 68,000 of these result in the woman’s death.

Personally, it would be for me to conclude it this way. Every life is precious. We all have our role to play in this world. In a way, we all are linked to each other. It is the choices we make that makes us  special.

Please consult a doctor in need of expert opinion on the requirement of abortion. There are a lot of ways to avoid unwanted pregnancies. It is easier to apply any of them, rather than conceiving and aborting a fetus. In other conditions such as a medical condition that may be harmful for the mother, it would be left for the family to make a choice. i also believe that the law  must be made stronger so as to prevent incidents such as rape and domestic violences. Stronger punishments must be implied on people who break the rules of the society. Rape or any domestic violence, foeticide, etc cannot be tolerated in society. People with sexually transmitted disease must never hide it  from their partner and seek medical care immediately. Being honest with your partner is the best way to  express your love for them.

Hope my article was of any help for you. thank you for reading. Your comments are always welcome on the topic.

take care and God bless you.