Is abortion illegal in India: What you should know?

Contents of This Post:

Confused about the legalities and wondering, “Is abortion illegal in India?” If yes, you’re not alone. This post clears the air. We’ll explore the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act and what it means for you. Is abortion legal? Absolutely. But understanding eligibility and your rights is key. We’ll also address cost concerns and available support systems.

Let’s navigate this together!

Facing an unplanned pregnancy can be overwhelming, and navigating the legalities of abortion can add even more stress. In India, the legal landscape surrounding abortion is clear, but misinformation and lack of awareness persist. This post aims to empower you with accurate information.

Let’s just begin with the good news: abortion in India is legal and safe under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, introduced in 1971. This Act recognizes a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy under specific conditions and with the consultation of qualified medical professionals at registered MTP centres.

The MTP Act outlines the legal framework for abortion, ensuring women can access safe care while protecting their health and well-being.

Breaking it Down: Eligibility and Conditions for Abortion

The MTP Act allows for abortion under various circumstances, with some conditions to ensure safety:

Gestational Age:

The Act generally permits abortion up to 24 weeks of pregnancy. However, for pregnancies exceeding 20 weeks, the opinion of two registered medical practitioners is mandatory.



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Early abortions are generally considered safer and less complex. Additionally, for up to 20 weeks, abortion can be performed with the opinion of a single medical practitioner.

Medical Reasons:

The Act allows abortion to protect a woman’s life or physical or mental health. This could include cases where continuing the pregnancy poses a significant risk to the woman’s well-being. Here, a woman’s health and life are the priority and if the ongoing pregnancy poses any threat to the woman, she is eligible for a legal abortion.

So, if you were wondering, “Is abortion illegal in India”, it is legal if your physical or mental health or life is in danger because of the ongoing pregnancy.

There’s more to it. Stay tuned to know other reasons acceptable for a legal abortion in India.

Is abortion illegal in India for socioeconomic Reasons?

The MTP Act recognizes the social and economic factors that might influence a woman’s decision to have an abortion.

Is abortion illegal in India if the contraceptive has failed?

Absolutely not. It has been legal for married women for many years. But, with the last amendment to the MTP Act in 2021, unmarried women need no longer wonder “Is abortion illegal in India for contraceptive failure?” As of today in 2024, abortion in India is equally legal for both married and unmarried women if the resulting pregnancy is a result of contraceptive failure.

Additionally, you may choose not to tell your doctor about the contraceptive that you used and failed unless it was an intrauterine contraceptive device (IUCD). And that too, you need to mention for your safety because usually pregnancies resulting from IUCD are rare but may be ectopic pregnancies.

abortion in Dubai legal, is abortion illegal in India
Safe, legal and confidential abortion in Bangalore

So, it’s advisable to mention such cases beforehand to your doctor. But this does not mean that other contraceptives like condoms (both male & female) or birth control pills cannot fail. They also can fail and result in unwanted pregnancy.

Luckily, abortion in India is legal for contraceptive failure, unlike many other countries like the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Singapore, Philippines, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Qatar, Oman, Maldives and Mauritius where abortion is either illegal or highly restricted.

Is abortion illegal in India for fetal deformities?

Many countries permit abortions for fetal anomalies. However, in many countries, there is a ceiling age for abortions in such cases. For instance, abortion in the UAE is legal for certain fetal anomalies but only for up to the first 120 days. However, there are many instances when the deformity presents later than that. So, is abortion illegal in India like Dubai or Abu Dhabi?

No, luckily, abortion in India is legal even for fetal deformities and that too for up to 24 weeks in general cases. Furthermore, there have been instances when women have obtained legal abortion in India beyond this ceiling age with some legal help and doctor’s advice.

Another question that pops up is that if abortion is legal for all deformities or only for selected ones. See, with wanted pregnancies, no woman wants a pregnancy termination. Sadly, some women may have to undergo such conflicting situations, but it’s for the betterment when they choose to terminate the pregnancy rather than a painful fate to the unborn child. And yes, abortion in India is legal for several deformities, unlike many countries where abortions are legal only for very limited deformities and within a certain timeframe only.

Is abortion illegal in India in events of rape?

Rape and incest, including marital rape, are really sad things that can happen to any woman. Pregnancies resulting from such immoral acts are further devastating. They not only ruin a woman’s life physically but the mental trauma and anguish are beyond imagination.

Also, the child born of such an act may not get the love a child deserves. Going ahead with such pregnancies is tormenting not only for women who have undergone brutality but also for children born of such acts.

The Indian abortion law recognizes the mental adversities of such acts. And hence, legalized abortions in India for pregnancies resulting from rapes up to 20 weeks in normal cases. In many cases, women have obtained legal pregnancy terminations in such events even beyond this time frame.

Additionally, you may choose to fight for your rights legally in such cases. But for obtaining abortion, you do not necessarily need to prove that the pregnancy is a result of an immoral act.

Is abortion illegal in India for women under 18 years of age?

No, abortion in India is legal for all women for the aforementioned circumstances. So, it stays true even for minor girls. However, since the Indian constitution considers any person an adult after attaining the age of 18 years, so parental consent is necessary for minor abortions.

However, if a woman is above 18 years, she does not need parental consent. Also, she does not need her partner’s consent. And that’s why any unmarried woman can safely and legally choose pregnancy termination with her consent only.

So, by now, many of your answers regarding, “Is abortion illegal in India” might have been clarified. If you still have any concerns, do reach out to us in comments.

Beyond Legality: Exploring the Cost Factors

While abortion is legal, financial considerations might still be a concern. The cost of abortion can vary depending on several factors, some of which are patient-specific and others depending on facilities:

Type of Facility:

Government hospitals and clinics typically offer lower costs due to subsidies. Private facilities might charge more due to overhead costs and facilities. Stigma with abortion is still prevalent in Indian society. So, women often choose to visit private abortion clinics when confidentiality is a priority.

cost of abortion in Dubai, cost of abortion in India, cost of abortion

Moreover, unmarried women often fear the kind of treatment (mentally) they may face if they seek a legal abortion. So, they often opt for self-medication like taking abortion pills without prescription. As a result, they put their health and lives at stake. And this is one of the biggest reasons that unsafe abortions are a leading cause of maternal mortality and morbidity in India.

This is very true not just in Indian society but across the world, especially in Gulf countries. There, women are treated as criminals when they seek abortions, especially unmarried women. However, women who are educated and know their rights opt for safer choices. Many such women travel to Bangalore, India for safe, legal and confidential abortions at American Hospital Bangalore (AHB).

Abortion at a Government Hospital or a Private abortion clinic in India:

Better a safe abortion in a private facility that can guarantee you confidentiality than an unsafe choice that can pose a threat to your health and life. What do you say? Let’s talk about it in the comments.


In addition, private facilities can offer private recovery rooms. So, the patients can recover in their comfort and at their own pace. Whereas, in general hospitals, patients usually need to share the recovery rooms with other people which can make it uncomfortable for some women. Also, after an abortion, women do not want other patients or their companions in common recovery rooms to judge them for their choices or decisions.

This becomes too relevant when women seek abortions in privacy and do not want to run into an acquaintance, especially if they are seeking an abortion in the same city. But private facilities can offer them the safety and privacy they seek and that too without the fear of judgment.

Single appointment vs multiple appointment abortion:

Also, women can obtain single-appointment and same-day abortion procedures at private facilities which is rarely possible in general hospitals. With long waiting periods, queues, reports and a date for abortion, women may need to visit the general hospital multiple times. Whereas, they can easily get all the tests done along with the abortion procedure and post-abortion follow-up on the same appointment at a private facility like AHB.

And of course, we have not spoken of abortion in India by appointment. In government hospitals, there are large queues and waiting periods. But, in private facilities, one can obtain a legal abortion with a scheduled appointment. So, no waiting period. This is a big relief for women who are either studying or working. They are unable to afford long medical leave or multiple visits within a short span.

So, they can choose to have a safe in-clinic Gentle Care abortion at AHB within a single appointment. Also, with same-day discharge and a very short recovery period, they can resume their routine also very shortly. Unlike abortion pills, Gentle Care abortions offer them convenience beyond a comfortable, short, painless and successful, positive abortion in India experience.

Procedure Type:

Medical abortions (using pills) are generally less expensive than surgical procedures. But, medical abortions are also the least efficient of all abortion methods. This means that the pills you pop in can result in incomplete abortions. In such cases, you will need another procedure, usually a surgical to complete an incomplete abortion resulting after abortion pills.

Abortion in India, Bangalore

Most of the self-abortions without discussing with the healthcare provider result in incomplete abortions. Have you gone through such an experience? If yes, let’s talk about the reasons for the same in comments or you can reach out to us @americanhospitalbengaluru on Instagram.


Costs can vary across different cities and regions.

Gentle Care suction abortion in India is efficient and safer abortion method than abortion with pills.
Gentle Care suction abortion vs Medical abortion

Here’s what you can do:

  • Contact healthcare providers directly. They can provide a personalized cost estimate based on your situation and location.
  • Research government health initiatives or non-profit organizations. Some offer financial assistance for abortion care.
  • Don’t let financial barriers prevent you from accessing safe and legal care. Explore your options and seek support from trusted resources.

Schedule an abortion in India appointment.

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  2. Second-trimester abortion in India: What you should know?
  3. First-trimester Abortion in India: What you need to know?
  4. Clinic Choices for Abortion in India & Overseas Travel Tips:
  5. First Trimester Abortion in India for Foreigners:

Quick Links:

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  3. Beyond Borders: Abortion in India or Abortion in Maldives?
  4. Abortion in India for Dubai Women: Foreigners, NRIs, Expats
  5. Abortion in India at 19 weeks pregnant: Legal & Confidential