Find useful information on legal procedures for terminating unwanted pregnancy/foetus in India.

Legal Abortion Procedures In India

Abortion signifies the termination of pregnancy through any method either spontaneous or induced before the mother’s foetus is satisfactorily developed to live autonomously. As per abortion laws in India, the foetus should be less than 20 weeks old from the time of pregnancy for abortion to take place. Depending upon how old is the foetus, one can choose among the following legal abortion procedures practiced in India.
In case of the first trimester (initial 12 weeks) abortion, one can opt for the surgical methods like:
(i)                 Cervical dilatation ensued by uterus evacuation though curettage / suction evacuation / vacuum aspiration / dilatation and evacuation
(ii)               Menstrual aspiration (MR)
Medical Methods of Abortion in the first trimester
The medical procedure of abortion includes the use of Prostaglandin groups of drugs. These can be given to the patient via different routes like the mouth, by injection intramuscularly/ intravenously or vaginally. While conducting an abortion at this stage, these drugs can be used by themselves or in amalgamation with other drugs. In case of first trimester abortions the preference, however, is given to the surgical method of dilatation and curettage because the drugs are quite expensive and also not easily available.
Second Trimester Abortion
The second semester abortion is meant to be conducted on a pregnant lady wanting to undergo an abortion between 13 – 20 weeks. Counseling is normally given to the patient by the attending Obstetrician at this stage for the following reasons: 
  • To alleviate the anxiety of the lady who has to undergo an abortion.
  • To inform about the abortion procedure, safety, risks etc.
  • To examine for guilt or any psychiatric problem.
  • To help the patient understand and deal with her feelings.
  • To help her avoid any unplanned pregnancy later on.
Medical process of abortion during the second trimester can be carried out using drugs like:  
  • Ethacridine lactate.
  • prostaglandin
 Whereas, the surgical procedures for conducting abortion during the second semester are:
  • Aspirotomy
  • Hysterotomy
  • Hysterectomy
 Note: Please consult a qualified doctor for advice regarding abortion and do not try any of these methods yourself at home.

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