- Abortion is the
termination of pregnancy by any method (spontaneous
or induced) before the foetus is sufficiently
developed to survive independently. (foetus
less than 20 weeks of pregnancy)
- Another definition
is the delivery of the baby/foetus that is less
than 500 grams
Abortions can be
classified as either of the following:
- Pregnancy resulting
- Conditions where
the socio-economic status of the mother (family)
hampers the progress of a healthy pregnancy
and the birth of a healthy child.
- Failure of Contraceptive
Device irrespective of the method used (natural
methods/ barrier methods/ hormonal methods).
(The terms are self-explanatory)
About 30 to 35 million
abortions take place annually in the world. More
than half of them are illegal and performed by
untrained, unskilled persons and done under highly
M. T. P. ACT:
To avoid the misuse
of induced abortions, most countries have enacted
laws whereby only qualified Gynecologists under
conditions laid down and done in clinics/hospitals
that have been approved can do abortions. During
the 1950s abortion was legalised in Eastern Europe,
The Soviet Union and China followed by most of
the Western European countries, The United States
and few other countries. The world wide process
of liberalisation continued after 1980. This is
known as the Medical Termination of Pregnancy
Act, also known as the MTP act.
Indian M.T.P. Act
Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act was enacted
by the Indian Parliament in 1971 and came into
force from 01 April, 1972. The MTP act was again
revised in 1975. The MTP Act lays down the condition
under which a pregnancy can be terminated, the
persons and the place to perform it.
reasons for which MTP is done, as interpreted
from the Indian MTP Act, are:
a pregnant woman has a serious medical disease
and continuation of pregnancy could endanger
her life e.g.:
Where the continuation
of pregnancy could lead to substantial risk
to the newborn leading to serious physical
/ mental handicaps –examples like
(German measles) viral infection to
mother in first three months.
previous children have congenital abnormalities.
of the foetus to irradiation.
This condition is
a unique feature of the Indian Law. All the pregnancies
can be terminated using this criterion.
If married--- her own written consent. Husband’s
consent not required.
- If unmarried
and above 18years ---her own written consent.
- If below 18
years ---written consent of her guardian.
- If mentally
unstable --- written consent of her guardian.
- A consent assures
the clinician performing the abortion that
- Has been informed
of all her options.
- Has been counseled
about the procedure, its risks and how to
care for herself after she chosen the abortion
of her own free will.