"It seems to me clear as daylight that abortion would be a crime."
-Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
Abortion or miscarriage means the spontaneous or induced termination of pregnancy before the foetus is independently viable, which is usually taken as occurring after the 28th week of conception. Children born a few days before the 28th week are known to have survived with modern care. It has also been defined as the expulsion or removal of all (complete) or any part (incomplete) of the placenta or membranes with or without any abortus. Medically, abortion means the expulsion of the ovum within the first 3 months of the pregnancy; miscarriage, the expulsion of the foetus from 4th- 7th month; and premature delivery, the delivery of a baby after 7th month of pregnancy and before full term. Legally, miscarriage, abortion and pre mature labour are now accepted as synonymous terms, indicating any termination of pregnancy at any stage or before confinement. Life begins at the moment of conception; after conception, it takes about 7- 10 days before implantation of the developing ovum takes place; the embryo goes on developing upto the end of the 9th week, and from then onwards is the foetal stage.
HISTORY OF ABORTION
Abortion has been part of family planning since ancient times, with natural remedies being found amongst a wide variety of tribal people and in all our written sources. Our earliest texts contain no mention of abortion or abortion law. When it does appear, it is entailed in concerns about male property rights, preservation of social order, and the duty to produce fit citizens for the state or community. The harshest penalties were generally reserved for a woman who procured an abortion against her husband's wishes, and for slaves who produced abortion in a woman of high status. Religious texts often contained severe condemnations of abortion, recommending penance but seldom enforcing secular punishment.
The attitude in India towards abortion has... [continues]
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