Despite safe abortion being a basic right, there has been a long and hard battle seeking equal access to it. An important headway in this movement arrived in the form of amendments to India's MTP (Medical Termination of Pregnancy) Act, which came into force on September 24 this year, and the new rules as per the amendments were announced by the government on October 12. The extension of the gestation period limit, inclusion of special categories like rape and incest survivors, minors, etc. have been especially commendable.
However, as the rules go from paper to practice, there is a need for a robust implementation plan and standardised protocols to ensure new amendments don't impede access to safe abortion anywhere. The way forward is also to eventually move from a doctor-centric law to acknowledging bodily autonomy and rights of pregnant people beyond the gender binary. Better policies and laws that prioritise the sexual and reproductive rights of people, as well as ensuring access to comprehensive sexuality education, access to contraception, and safe abortion, are exactly what we will be working towards.