An ASAP study on abortion laws explored the knowledge, attitudes and understanding of gatekeepers such as lawmakers and implementers on women’s rights to safe and legal abortion. Respondents included legislators, high-ranking police personnel, jailors, medical practitioners, hospital administrators, other persons, tasked with the implementation of abortion related laws as well as those whose opinion and experience carries weight in legal and policy advocacy.
The study revealed a significant lack of knowledge among respondents on intricacies of the MTP Act as well as International Covenants relevant to women’s right to safe abortion in India. Findings also revealed ‘pro-choice’ versus ‘pro-life’ internal conflicts among respondents, suggesting the need to improve the attitudes of lawmakers towards women’s right to abortion.
Consequently, ASAP recommends that the MTP act and related laws should become a part of the regular law school curriculum. This is to ensure those with the authority to influence laws related to women’s access to safe abortion services are sensitized and aware of ground realities.
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