‘We’re always going to argue about abortion. It’s a hard choice and it’s controversial, and that’s why I’m pro-choice, because I want people to make their own choices.’ – Hillary Clinton
With the Trump administration’s new attempt to implement laws that ban abortions, the battle has picked up pace like never before.
The anti-abortion movement also referred to as the pro-life movement advocates against abortion and it’s legality. The dictionary defines abortion as the termination of a human pregnancy accompanied by the death of the embryo or fetus.
Currently, the USA’s extreme anti-abortion policies have caused quite an uproar across the world. The ban applies even in cases of rape and incest and puts doctors at risk of imprisonment for up to 99 years if they agree to perform the procedure.
In contrast, the pro-choice movement is a socio-political movement supporting the view that women should have the legal right to an elective abortion. This is also known as the abortion-rights movement. Abortion-rights activists are of the opinion that whether or not a pregnant woman should continue her pregnancy should be entirely her choice.
Surprisingly, abortion-rights are more lenient in India than in the US. Abortion is legal up to 20 weeks in certain circumstances in India and can be performed on various grounds. In exceptional cases, abortion is permissible beyond 20 weeks as well. It is estimated that about 15.6 million abortions take place in India every year.
Amongst the current debate about abortion, someone has rightly said, criminalising abortion doesn’t prevent abortion, it just prevents safe abortion. Limitation to abortion rights is restricting a woman’s control over her own body, life, and future. Supporters of the pro-choice movement argue that lack of access to safe abortion facilities is a violation of basic human rights. Moreover, one must note that being pro-choice doesn’t necessarily mean banning abortion, it simply means giving people a choice.
In conclusion, criminalising abortion is a violation of human rights, the right to privacy and bodily autonomy. Forcing an unwanted pregnancy or asking someone to carry out the term of their pregnancy (many times in unsafe pregnancies) is not a decision of anybody except the person who is bearing the child. It is imminent that laws related to abortion protect, fulfill and respect the rights of all women.