The right to life is a very broad concept and is the most fundamental of all. In India, right to
life has been recognized under Article 21 of the Constitution which says that “No person
shall be deprived of his life and personal liberty except according to procedure established by
law”. Person here includes both man and woman. Among various rights which are available
to a woman, the right to abortion is also believed to be one of the most essential and
fundamental right. Right to abortion has been recognized under right to privacy which is a
part of right to personal liberty and which emanates from right to life.

But the question always arises whether an unborn child should be considered as a human being and be given the status of a person or not. There are various aspects such as religious, ethics, moral and legal values that rule over the aspect of right to abortion. Abortion is severely condemned in all religions. But in spite of that always the question arises whether the mother has a right to abortion or the child has a right to life. Ronald Dworkin has made a detailed study on the issue of abortion. He did not accept the extreme position taken by the derivative claimers of prohibition of abortion that, the fetus is a complete moral person from the moment of conception. Hence the unborn has the right to live and abortion is a murder or nearly a
wrong as murder.


The Indian Penal Code 1860 which is the basic criminal law of the country keeping in view
the religious, moral, social and ethical background of the Indian community has made
induced abortion a criminal offence under sections 312 to 316 of IPC 1860. Sec 312 of IPC 1860 relates to unlawful termination of pregnancy. Here under IPC 1860, the framers of the code have not used the word “abortion‟. The miscarriage and unborn child has also not been defined in the code. But by legal interpretation we will find that voluntary causing miscarriage stands for criminal abortion and which is an offence under the code. Sec 312 make voluntary causing miscarriage an offence in two circumstances when a woman is with child (which means as soon as gestation begins) and when she is quick with child (motion of the fetus is felt by the mother). Sec 312 permits termination of pregnancy in order to protect the life of the mother. The unborn child must not be destroyed unless the.


In 1973, abortion laws in the United States suddenly changed with the Supreme Court’s
decision in Roe V Wade. In Roe’s case, the United States Supreme court held that the
Texas’s criminal abortion statute which criminalizes abortion except to save the life of a
mother is violative of the Due process clause of the Fourteenth amendment. The Court held the trimester framework on abortion issue which is the following.

The USA Supreme court held that the word “person‟ in the fourteenth amendment does not include the unborn child and the question when does the life begins cannot be speculated by it was held that the Constitution does not explicitly recognized the right to privacy but the United
States of Supreme court has recognized that “a right to personal privacy and certain zones of
privacy‟ exists under the constitution16. The right of privacy to some extent consists of
activities like freedom of choice in deciding basic decision of one’s life to marriage,
procreation, contraception, family relationships and child rearing and education. The right to
privacy is founded on the concept of personal liberty under fourteenth amendment is broad
enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy and the
right to abortion comes under the personal right to privacy.


In India, abortion laws are coming under S.312 to 316 of IPC 1860 and MTP ACT 1971. By
analyzing the MTP ACT 1971 we will find that this act does not give any right to abortion to
a woman for terminating her pregnancy. The complete decision depends upon the medical
practitioners. If the medical practitioner in good faith will approve then pregnancy can be
terminated. Here IPC and MTP ACT infringes the right to privacy, right to health, and right
to dignity of a woman which has been guaranteed by Art.21. If abortion on demand (in case of rape or for other reasons) is not allowed under safe conditions and is restricted then women
will go for unsafe abortion which leads to mortality and death of women infringing right to
health and right to live with human dignity.

Every right has two elements. One is material element of interest like reputation, property,
money etc. Second one the formal elements like capacity, power to realize the interest.
Therefore right are concerned with interest. Interests are the things which are to a man are
advantage. When we say that we are having interest in reputation, it means we are having the
advantage to enjoy a good name and the state is under an obligation to protect my interest. If
we are having an interest in our physical body, then a right is created in favor of us and we go
to doctor who is under a duty to give us a medical treatment under safe condition. To protect
the right of a human being right to health has emerged under right to life. In case of rape, a woman loses her dignity in the society. She has an interest to survive in the society as par with other human being. If abortion is not in demand then she may commit suicide or go for illegal abortion which will affect her health.

India should make the abortion laws liberal and any law relating to abolition of
abortion is nothing but a clear violation of a woman’s right. It violates women’s rights to
health, right to dignity, right liberty, and right to privacy. Abortion must be legally permitted
in order to protect the most basic rights of women.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

Do follow me on FacebookTwitter  Youtube and Instagram.

The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

If you would also like to contribute to my website, then do share your articles or poems at adv.aishwaryasandeep@gmail.com

We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs

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