Abortion in India

The abortion in India , based on induced abortion or abortion is free, at the request of the woman and until 7 weeks since 1971 . 1 2

Law of 1972

According to the law of the Republic of India, the practice of induced abortion must be done by qualified doctors, in suitable sanitary conditions, and always in authorized clinics or in public hospitals . The legislation authorizing abortion ( Law Medical Termination of Pregnancy – English Medical Termination of Pregnancy , Act No. 34) was enacted by the Parliament of India on October of August of 1971 . The Act entered into force on 1 April 1972 and has been amended only once in 1975. The law therefore sets out the conditions under which abortion can be practiced, who can do it and where. 1

Indications for early medical abortion

General conditions to be met

All women attending a health center for interrupting pregnancy should not exceed 7 weeks of gestation (49 days from the first day of the last menstrual period in women with regular 28-day cycles) in addition to being evaluated Which meets a number of requirements: 3

  • Psychological situation of the woman and acceptance of a minimum of three follow-up visits.
  • Authorization for surgical abortion if excessive bleeding or other complications occur in the event of medical abortion .
  • Sufficient emotional support.
  • In minors, permission of the guardian, according to the Law of 1972.
  • Adequate health care conditions.

Choice of method

Abortion practice with medication or doctor

Main article: Abortion with drugs

Only authorized physicians, as prescribed by the 1972 Act, are authorized to prescribe mifepristone with misoprostol for medical abortion (as specified in Article 2.d and Article 3 of the 1972 Act). 4

The practice of medical or medical abortion includes primary health care, clinic, or hospital as needed. The initial diagnostic study, counseling, prescription and administration can be done in a clinic or a consultation room. Emergency services are available 24 hours a day to ensure proper health monitoring. 5

Election between medical abortion and surgical abortion

See also: Surgical abortion and medical abortion .
  • Aspiration (suction evacuation) is the most common method for terminating precocious pregnancies . However, because it is a surgical technique, it is associated with risks of infection, perforation of the uterus, incomplete abortion, and the procedure following the formation of uterine synechia ( Asherman’s Syndrome ).
  • The success of medication abortion depends on multiple factors, including the regimen used, posology, route of administration, and gestational age.
  • The mifepristone with misoprostol are the reference drugs in pregnancy up to 7 weeks.
  • The surgical abortion is preferable if the patient wants the tubal ligation – and that can be practiced in the same intervention-.
  • If a woman meets the criteria for the selection of any of the methods, the final choice will be chosen by the woman.

Contraindications for medical abortion

For cases in which a pregnant woman has a serious medical illness and the continuation of the pregnancy could endanger her life, The Medical Injury Act of 1972 establishes clear guidelines in which contraception with medication is contraindicated .

Contraindications of character with medicines

  • Smokers over 35 years.
  • Anemia – hemoglobin less than 8 g%
  • Suspected or confirmed ectopic pregnancy or adnexal mass not diagnosed.
  • Coagulopathy or treatment with anticoagulants.
  • Chronic adrenal insufficiency or medication with systemic corticosteroids.
  • Uncontrolled hypertension with increased blood pressure 160 / 100mmHg
  • Existence of cardiovascular diseases such as angina pectoris , valvular disease, arrhythmias
  • Severe renal, hepatic or respiratory illness.
  • Glaucoma.
  • Uncontrolled epilepsy.
  • Allergy or intolerance to mifepristone / misoprostol or other prostaglandins
  • Lack of access to 24-hour emergency medical services.

Contraindications of psycho-social character

  • Women who can not take responsibility for the decision.
  • Women with anxiety or who want fast abortion.
  • Existence of language barriers or comprehension.
  • Not being ready for surgical abortion in case of medication abortion.

Number of abortions and deaths of women

The figures are very different. According to the National Consortium for the Consensus on Abortion with Medications in India , each year an average of about 11 million abortions are performed, about 20,000 women die each year due to abortion-related complications. 6 Most of these maternal deaths are caused by the practice of illegal abortion, which is carried out under inadequate sanitary conditions and by unskilled personnel. 7

Selective abortion by sex and prenatal tests

Main article: Female feticide in India

In the Republic of India, prenatal examinations, including ultrasound tests – when performed solely to determine the sex of the fetus – have been penalized by law since 1994. A modification in 2002 hardened the penalties: up to three years Of jail and fine of 10,000 rupees for the first complaint and 50,000 for the second and subsequent. This is mainly due to the prevalence of female feticide , a product of prenatal diagnosis.


  1. ↑ Jump to:a b «Medical Termination of Pregnancy, 1971» . Medindia.com . Retrieved on April 11, 2011 .
  2. Back to top↑ Medical Abortion Consortium
  3. Back to top↑ Guidelines for Medical Abortion in India
  4. Back to top↑ The mifepristone with misoprostol for termination of early pregnancy nothan seven weeks, it can be prescribed by aphysician as prescribed in Article 3. Article 2.dy access to health facilities will be approved by the Government By virtue of Article 4 (b). Emergency surgery – surgical abortion -may also be performedwhen safety conditions indicate it.
  5. Back to top↑ Information for Women, in ICMA, in Spanish
  6. Back to top↑ «Introduction» . Consortium on National Consensus for Medical Abortion in India. Archived from the original on November 23, 2015 . Retrieved on December 3, 2008 .
  7. Back to top↑ Current status of abortion in India . Consortium on National Consensus for Medical Abortion in India . Consulted on October 11, 2008 .