Abortion1 is a highly debated questionacross the globe and is of great importance on national as well asinternational levels. It has become a topic of controversial discussionaround the world.
All and sundry are in Catch-22 regarding the question whether the mother has a right to discontinue her pregnancy at herwill at any time thatshe desires to or if the unborn child has the right to life.Right to life is a very wide-ranging perception and is the most important of all. In India, right to life has been acknowledged under Article 21 of the Constitutionof India which states that “No personshall be deprivedof his life and personalliberty except accordingto procedure established by law”2. In theabove definition a “Person” here refers toboth a man and a woman. Midst numerous rights that are accessible by a woman,the right to terminatepregnancy or the right of abortion is also acknowledged to be one of the most crucialand fundamental rights. The right toabortion of a woman has been documented underright to privacy which is a fragmentof the right to personalliberty which further originates from right to life guaranteed under Article 21 of the IndianConstitution.3. However,the dilemma continually remains thatwhether a fetus i.
e. the unborn child shall be regarded given the status of a ‘person’ asinterpreted under Article 21. There exist innumerable facets such the spiritual, ethical,legal, social and moral values which have to be considered with regard to the slant ofRight to Abortion or termination of pregnancy in India. Discontinuance of pregnancyor Abortion is vehemently inveighed against under all religious and spiritual beliefs and thus underthe personal laws. In spite ofsuch chastise the ever arising dilemma is whether the matriarch has a right of abortion or theunborn has a right to life. It has been manifested that an unborn child or fetus has no stake before the thirdtrimester4.
A fetus inside the womb of the mother is unable to senseany kind of pain until the third trimester of pregnancy i.e. not until verylate in pregnancy since the fetus’s brain is not adequately advanced untilthen. Scientists have established that fetus’s brain is adequately matures tosense discomfort only after nearly the time period twenty six weeks5has passed. Therefore, if aborting is against the interestof the unborn is dependentupon the fact if at all the fetal brain has developed sufficiently to recognize pain or discomfort and not on the basis of the development that might take place in case there is notermination of pregnancy. 1 Abortion can be classified into twotypes which arethe following:1.
Spontaneous Abortion –An abortion which results due to the complications during pregnancy and whichoccur unintentionally is called spontaneous abortion. It is also termedas miscarriages.2. Induced abortion has also beendivided into two types:a. Therapeutic abortion – An abortion which is induced to preserve the health of the mother when her life is in danger or when it is found that the child if born will be a disabled one at time it is termed as therapeuticabortion.b.
Electiveabortion – An abortion induced forany other reason is known aselective abortion. Both embryo and fetusmean unborn child. 2 Article 21, Constitution of India.3 Roe V. Wade 410US 113(1973) 4 Ronald Dworkin-‘not everything thatcan be destroyed has an interestin not being destroyed’ 5 CliffordGrobstein, Science and the unborn: choosingHuman futures (Basic Books, 1988)p.13