Health being a major issue of concern in India has areas like abortion and medical termination where lack of clarity and societal discourses that has resulted in many divergences. Especially abortions being a sensitive issue, pro-choice versus pro-life remain at the centre of an often acrimonious ethical, legal, theological and political debate across the world.
Issue-In india,abortion narrative is determined bt MTP act.there is pro life vs pro choice debate surrounding around the act.
pro life-are proponents who support life in consideration i.e. the foetus which is considered life from the women’s womb itself.
pro choice-are proponents who support choice of child bearer and hence support the cause of abortion at will.
- pro-choice endowment was a need based public health strategy aimed at the alarming increase in the population growth before the 1970s.
-it was also targeted towards preventing maternal deaths from illegal abortions, carried out by back-alley abortionists. India was the first country to launch a family planning programme in 1952.
-idea of this programme was to promote the use of contraceptives to delay or space out a pregnancy
-the family planning programme has tried over the years through different marketing strategies has only made a small dent.
-sterilisation remains the permanent method of contraception, after she or the family has decided on the desired number of children.
-unfortunately, legalised abortion has become a convenient standby, as a woman can cite contraceptive failure to abort an unwanted pregnancy.
-the easy access to abortion services has perhaps promoted a certain amount of irresponsibility, with women’s rights often over-riding discussions on the rights of the unborn child.
-son-preference saw voiceless women being coerced to determine the sex of the baby. The upsurge of selective abortion of female foetuses was accompanied by an explosion of imaging technology.
-towns without life-saving healthcare services invariably have at least one ultrasound clinic
- profusion of ultrasound clinics and sex-selective abortion hastened the decline of the sex-ratio. So alarming was the decline that the Pre-Conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques Act (PCPNDT) had to be legislated.
-the rights of the unborn child emerge in the ethically disturbing and medically unresolved issue that a pregnancy cannot be terminated after 20 weeks.
-20-week line is drawn on the understanding that there is a possibility of the foetus to survive and be viable outside the womb after this period.
Need for revision-the benefits of the MTP Act to women in India are precious, but they have to be backed up with an appropriate socio-cultural and regulatory environment.
-there is a need for aggressive education on planned parenthood, and on the risk that women undergo when they use abortion as a means of contraception.
-regulation and prevention of misuse
- counselling is provided to a mother before she undergoes a scan.
the debate between choice and life it is important to emerge at a middle ground. Underlying all these initiatives has to be the primary message, that each pregnancy is a potential human being. Even as the provisions of the MTP Act have to be treasured by Indian women, it has to be used with responsibility and respect towards the unborn life