You are on page 1of 3

3/23/13

Medical Jurisprudence - Abortion

Disclaimer Information in this document is being provided as-is without any warranty/guarantee of any kind. We have taken all reasonable measures to ensure the quality, reliability, and accuracy of the information in this document. However, we may have made mistakes and we will not be responsible for any loss or damage of any kind arising because of the usage of this information. Further, upon discovery of any error or omissions, we may delete, add to, or amend information on this website without notice. This document is intended to provide information only. If you are seeking advice on any matters relating to information on this website, you should – where appropriate – contact us directly with your specific query or seek advice from qualified professional people.

Q. Explain different types of Abortion. When is abortion permissible and when is it not? Discuss criminal liability of persons involved in illegal abortion - doctor, woman undergoing abortion, persons encouraging illegal abortion.
Abortion An abortion is the termination of a pregnancy by the removal or expulsion from the uterus of a fetus/embryo, resulting in or caused by its death. An abortion can occur spontaneously due to complications 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 miscarriages. Kinds of Abortion Abortion can be classified in several ways. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Legal and Illegal Spontaneous and Induced Surgical and Non Surgical Therapeutic and Elective Voluntary and Involuntary

When is abortion permissible Detailed provisions of legal abortion are given in Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971. Section 3 to 5 of this act specify the situation when abortion is permissible. Section 3 - 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.
www.hanumant.com/MJ-Abortion.html 1/3

Whoever voluntarily causes a woman with child to miscarry. shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years. – For the purposes of this section.3/23/13 Medical Jurisprudence . and that Code shall. Section 315 . and shall also be liable to fine. having attained the age of eighteen years. Section 314 . or with both. formed in good faith. or.Causing miscarriage without woman's consent . and if the act is done without the consent of the woman.Place where pregnancy may be terminated . (b) Save as otherwise provided in clause (a).It is not essential to this offence that the offender should know that the act is likely to cause death.Death caused by act done with intent to cause miscarriage . Section 312 to 315 of IPC are applicable to whoever takes part in an illegal abortion.Act done with intent to prevent child being born alive or to cause it to die after birth . Explanation . where the pregnancy may be terminated under this Act. or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years. (4) (a) No pregnancy of a woman. and so much of the provisions of sub-section (2) of section 3 as relate to the length of the pregnancy and the opinion of not less than two registered medical practitioners. if the woman be quick with child. shall be punished either with imprisonment for life.html 2/3 . be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years. shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years. no pregnancy shall be terminated except with the consent of the pregnant woman. the expression “owner” in relation to a place means any person who is the administrative head or otherwise responsible for the working or maintenance of a hospital or place. whether the woman is quick with child or not.No termination of pregnancy shall be made in accordance with this Act at any place other than. (2) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Indian Penal Code. shall be punishable with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than two years but which may extend to seven years. or with the punishment above mentioned. that he termination of such pregnancy is immediately necessary to save the life of the pregnant woman. Section 313 . who has not attained the age of eighteen years. stand modified.Whoever commits the offence defined in the last preceding section without the consent of the woman. and. with intent to cause the miscarriage of a woman with child. is a lunatic. shall be punished with imprisonment for life.(a) a hospital established or maintained by Government.Whoever before the birth of any child does any act with the intention of thereby preventing that child from being born alive or causing it to die after its birth.com/MJ-Abortion. or with fine. Explanation . Criminal Liability of persons involved in illegal abortion Causing the death of an unborn child is a serious offence and the general rules regarding this are given in Section 312 to 315 of IPC. (4) Any person being owner of a place which is not approved under clause (b) of section 4 shall be punishable with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than two years but which may extend to seven years.Causing miscarriage . and does by such act prevent that child from being born alive. or causes it to die after its birth. is within the meaning of this section. the termination of pregnancy by a person who is not a registered medical practitioner shall be an offence punishable with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than two years but which may extend to seven years under that Code. Explanation 1.hanumant. who. account may be taken of the pregnant women’s actual or reasonable foreseeable environment. shall.Abortion (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). Section 5 . if such act be www.Whoever.Sections 3 and 4 when not to apply (1) The provisions of section 4. Section 312 . and shall also be liable to fine. does any act which causes the death of such woman. shall if such miscarriage be not caused in good faith for the purpose of saving the life of the woman. (3) Whoever terminates any pregnancy in a place other than that mentioned in section 4. to this extent.A woman who causes herself to miscarry. shall be terminated except with the consent in writing of her guardian. shall not apply to the termination of a pregnancy by a registered medical practitioner in a case where he is of opinion. and shall also be liable to fine. by whatever name called. Section 4 . or (b) a place for the time being approved for the purpose of this Act by Government.

be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years. or with both.Abortion not caused in good faith for the purpose of saving the life of the mother. or with fine. www.3/23/13 Medical Jurisprudence .com/MJ-Abortion.html 3/3 . Section 5 of MPT Act further makes termination of pregnancy by an unregistered medical practitioner an offence punishable by 2 to 7 yrs of rigorous imprisonment.hanumant.