Abortion was decriminalised in India in 1971, post the initiation of the Medical Termination Of Pregnancy (MTP) Act. Hailed ahead of its time, it’s now found redundant with only two amendments over almost 50 years. But on the bright side, various abortion methods are becoming increasingly accessible due to governmental and non-governmental initiatives. In this article, we trace Abortion Rates And History Of The Abortion Pill In India.
Learn more about abortions in India on our specific page for the country, which is available in Hindi too: https://www.howtouseabortionpill.org/abortion-laws-by-country/india/
Approximately, 15.6 million abortions were performed in India in 2015. 14% of abortions were performed surgically and 5% of abortions were performed outside of health facilities using typically unsafe methods. However, according to reports, there has been some inaccuracies in the abortion numbers reported by the state. It’s reported that if a new court ruling does take place, this number could like triple.
Each year, 47 Indian women out of 1000 choose abortion.
Even though abortions have been legal since 1971, it was in 2003 when the Indian Parliament strengthened the MTP Act and made abortion services more easily accessible. Most significantly, the amended MTP Rules sanctioned medical abortion.
In 2002, the Drugs Controller of India duly approved a license for mifepristone; misoprostol had already been available in India to treat gastric ulcers. Post this, the Controller recommended the use of 600mg of mifepristone coupled with 400 μg of misoprostol orally, albeit only in the first 49 days of pregnancy. Since then, medical experts developed consensus protocols and guidelines, keeping in mind WHO recommendations, suggesting a lower dose of 200mg of mifepristone.
Additionally under these amendments, a certified medical practitioner is allowed to provide mifepristone and misoprostol in a clinic setting until the 7th week of pregnancy. A medical abortion can be provided in any clinic, not necessarily one certified under the 1971 MTP Act, issued that they have access to a certified site with capacity to perform a surgical abortion, if required.