Monday, Sep 26, 2022
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Pregnancy: Why Most Indian Women Alienate Oppressive Medical Experiences During Birthing

While some suggest that reproductive legislation in India is largely empowering, others see it as debilitating, exclusionary and restrictive

Self identity: Mixed media artwork by Mithu Sen titled Half Full (2007)

What does the overturning of Roe v. Wade by the United States Supreme Court tell us about women’s reproductive rights? It tells us that fundamental rights remain elusive globally for women across the spectrum. More so, when you belong to disenfranchised groups. For the uninitiated, Roe v. Wade was a landmark judgment in 1973 that said state regulations restricting access to abortion services were as unconstitutional and against a woman’s right to privacy.

In India, abortion rights are relatively more ‘liberal’, with the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971, allowing for termination of pregnancy up to 20 weeks. But the MTP Act has not been without its challenges. How and why are abortion rights negotiated and not fundamental to a woman’s right to live? What forms the core of reproductive legislation in India today?

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