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France’s Constitutional Guarantee of Abortion Rights

Why is it in the news?

  • France has recently made history by becoming the only country to explicitly guarantee abortion as a constitutional right.
  • This decision comes in response to the controversial move by the U.S. Supreme Court to restrict abortion rights, highlighting France’s commitment to women’s reproductive rights.
Arguments in Favor of Abortion

·       Advocates argue that abortion rights are essential to uphold women’s autonomy and bodily integrity, allowing them control over their own bodies and reproductive choices.

·       Denial of abortion can pose serious risks to women’s health and well-being, limiting their freedom and perpetuating gender inequality.

Arguments Against Abortion

·       Opponents contend that terminating a pregnancy is morally equivalent to taking a human life, viewing abortion as ethically unacceptable.

·       Concerns are raised about the psychological and emotional impact of abortion on women, suggesting that it may lead to long-term trauma or regret.

Abortion Laws in India:

·       The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act 1971 permits licensed medical professionals to perform abortions under specific circumstances, providing a legal framework for safe and regulated procedures.

·       The recent 2021 Amendment in MTP Act has simplified the process by requiring the opinion of only one doctor for abortions up to 20 weeks of gestation.

·       For abortions between 20 to 24 weeks, authorization from two doctors is necessary, especially for special categories of women such as survivors of rape or victims of incest.

 Supreme Court Judgment on Abortion: X vs. Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare Department, Govt. of NCT of Delhi:

·       The Supreme Court affirmed that unmarried women have the same right to abortion as married women, emphasizing equality in reproductive rights.

·       Additionally, the Court ruled that under the MTP Act, the definition of rape includes marital rape, recognizing the importance of addressing all forms of sexual violence against women.

 

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