An Analysis of the Evolving Law of Abortions in Light of Roe v. Wade Judgment

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Introduction

The Supreme Court of the United States is once more faced with the question involving abortion rights, the Supreme Court will in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organisation[1] revisit the precedent set in Roe v. Wade[2] where the Court had upheld the concept that privacy encompasses the right of a woman to terminate her pregnancy. In Roe[3], the Supreme Court had also enunciated the principle that when the foetus is viable, that is, it can survive on its own outside the womb, abortion may be prohibited. This period of viability was considered to be 24 to 28 weeks. The position in India is similar and a woman may terminate her pregnancy with the opinion of a single medical practitioner up to twenty weeks and with the consultation of two medical practitioners up to 24 weeks. This position may be changed by the Supreme Court in June 2022, through its judgment in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organisation[4] in light of recent medical and sociological advancements.

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