A person’s right to choose to end the pregnancy in the first few weeks is still not recognised in India. After overturning of Roe v Wade, measuring ourselves on a yardstick of regression shouldn’t become our way of governance
July 1, 2022
Is India really ahead of the West in terms of reproductive rights? Contrary to
the grandstanding since the overturning of the landmark Roe V. Wade judgment,
the truth is, no. Bodily autonomy and reproductive rights must be viewed from
three lenses — legal, medical, and social. Only when women and non-binary
pregnant people enjoy absolute autonomy over their own bodies by these
parameters, can one claim that India is showing the way to the West.
First, the legal standpoint: The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment)
Act 2021 is far from ideal and has been criticised for not taking a
rights-based approach. It doesn’t give the pregnant person complete autonomy in
ending the pregnancy, instead making them go through various systemic barriers.