Abortion Practice in India: A Review of Literature
Heidi Bart Johnston
The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act of
1971 greatly liberalised the indications for
which abortion is legal in India. The
Government intended for this Act to reduce
the incidence of illegal abortion and
consequent maternal morbidity and mortality.
However, 30 years after the groundbreaking
legislation, the majority of women seeking
abortion still turn to uncertified providers for
abortion services because of the barriers to
legal abortion. While some uncertified
providers offer safe services, many provide
unsafe abortions that result in complications
or death. Women with access to fewer
resources, for example low-income rural
women and adolescents, are among those most
likely to turn to unsafe abortion and have
complications. Studies suggest that the choice
of specific provider is most often not made by
the woman inducing abortion but with or by
her husband or other family members.
While the incidence of abort..