Abortion now a constitutional right in France

Syllabus: GS-II, Subject: Polity, Topic: Rights issues, Issue: Abortion laws

Context: France becomes the first country to make abortion a constitutional right.

  • The U.S Supreme Court in 2022 overruled Roe v. Wade ruling that recognized women’s constitutional right to abortion.
Pro-life (opposing abortion) Pro-choice (supporting abortion)
Right to Life of the Foetus:  Abortion is seen as moral equivalent to murder. Woman’s Right to Bodily Autonomy: power and agency to make choices over one’s body without coercion or violence.
Religious Beliefs: Condemn abortion as a violation of God’s will. Women’s Health: Restricting access to safe and legal abortion can lead to unsafe practices.
Focus on Alternatives: Resources and support for pregnant women in difficult situations. Focus on choice: Women should have the right to make the choice for themselves.

Regulation in India:

Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, 1971

  • This act legalises abortion under certain conditions.
  • Grounds for Abortion:
    • Risk to the woman’s life,
    • substantial risk of physical or mental abnormalities in the foetus, and
    • pregnancy arising out of rape or incest.
  • 2021 Amendment: Extended the gestational limit for abortion from 20 weeks to 24 weeks.
  • Unmarried Women: A Supreme Court judgement in 2022 clarified that unmarried women have the same right to safe and legal abortion as married women.


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