The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 guarantees absolute confidentiality to a woman irrespective of her age, while the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 .The Criminal Law Amendment Act, 2013 — put in place after the horrific gang-rape of the 23-year-old girl in Delhi last year — makes it mandatory for the hospitals, local bodies or individuals, to report any kind of offence or even a suspicion of offence in the case of a minor.
The problem arises when a woman, below the age of 18 years seeks an abortion.Under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 she has a legal right to seek abortion but the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 and the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 2013 criminalises sex below the age of 18 years even if it is consensual, thereby it is presumed pregnancy is a result of rape.
Many women’s groups and child rights activists shared apprehensions and said ambiguity left laws to individual interpretations. Doctors want the Centre to come out with some directions on the matter to end confusion and allay fears.
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