Prakhar Raghuvanshi and Chaaru Gupta from the National Law University, Jodhpur write on abortion laws in the USA and India.

Abstract

In May 2019, the State of Alabama passed an antiabortion law imposing almost a complete ban on abortions across the State. States in the USA are shifting towards the conservative ideology concerning abortion laws in the country. The Alabama law makes no exception for rape and incest, thus being considered to be the most severe and inflexible ban on abortion in history. The autonomy of a woman to have a child or not is completely disregarded. However, this law is against the federal law of the USA, based on the landmark decision of Roe v. Wade.

This paper examines the grounds of contravention of the two laws, the probable reasons for enacting such a draconian law and comments upon which law shall prevail and why. In addition to this, it comes up with a few changes that are required to be made to the existing legal framework. Furthermore, the abortion law in India is described with a brief overview of its application. The major case laws in India concerning abortion and the constitutional parameters in India related to such legislations are discussed. The 2017 judgment of Justice K.S. Puttaswamy v. Union of India has increased the threshold of bodily autonomy which attaches itself to reproductive autonomy. The authors finally attempt to explain the best approach to be adopted towards the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971, discussing how the medical advancements and the changes in society now demand for amendment in the law.