In the US, would Jane Roe be not permitted now for abortion, if she was in the 21st century, as she wanted in 1969, when she was pregnant with her third child? Jane Roe fought a war with Texas District Attorney, Henry Wade. She fought for herself and fought harder for future generations of women to have the right to bring life into the world or not.
In India, abortion puzzled itself into the ever-lost web of legality, laws, and bills, but moreover, progressed in the right direction, for the rights of Women. It was illegal in India to abort a child before the 1960s but the Shantilal Shah Committee set up by the government, recommended a positive way, and the Medical Termination bill was introduced in the Indian Parliament, giving birth to the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act 1971.
India and the US faced a similar societal problem regarding Pregnancy and Abortion in the late 1960s. The US, on one hand, legalized abortion, for up to 12 weeks with a historic judgment by US Supreme Court on the Joe Vs Wade case, referring to the constitution of the US and the right to abort; on another hand, India with its Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act 1971, also legalized abortion with limits and strict medical recommendations up to 20 weeks.
Years passed and came the 21st century, both Indian and the US grew to become modern societies but the age-old problem of abortion and its ethical meaning remained in the books of legality.
In India, in 2021, the Indian Parliament amended the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act and increased the pregnancy abortion period up to 24 weeks, and specified the seven conditions and categories for abortion from week 20 to 24. It became another progressive step for Indian society and the right of women to choose what’s suitable for their bodies.
In the US, around a similar period, in 2022, the US Supreme Court overturned the progressive step of the Joe Vs Wade judgment and made abortion illegal, and this authorized States to ban or modify abortion laws, specific to their state, before the period of 12 weeks. The interpretation also allowed states to completely ban abortion, and give legal punishment if abortion is done in any condition.
India and the US started off with the same problem, around the period of time, but progressed in the opposite direction. In India, the legislative, Executive, and the Judiciary are on the same page with laws on the “Right for Abortion”, whereas, in the US, the Legislative, and Executive are against the Judiciary in opinion, and worse, every state in the US stands divided on opinion for abortion, many might ban.
The rights of every Human, as enumerated by the UN and every nation individually, talk about freedom and liberty, but on issues like these many refrain to follow what is humane, but for what?
Ethically courts have considered it to be illegal, saying the fetus in the womb is living and such killing cannot be permitted, as it is an act of murder.
But, abortion is considered non-ethical and banned at the cost of a living woman, who is not entitled to choose what is best for her body, or for her life. Courts on many occasions have considered the rights of a fetus, but not of a full-grown woman, who is in utmost urgency to use her right and practice her freedom and liberty.
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