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Center Supports Challenge to India's Abortion Law

Today the Center for Reproductive Rights submitted a legal memorandum, equivalent to a friend-of-the court brief, in a case challenging India’s abortion law.  The lawsuit was filed with the Indian Supreme Court by Dr. Nikhil Datar, an ob-gyn in Mumbai. He is seeking to change the country's abortion law so that the procedure is allowed past the 20th week of pregnancy in cases of fetal impairment.  Our memorandum supports his request on legal and ethical grounds.

Last spring, the Center had an opportunity to interview Dr. Datar and learn more about why he was motivated to take his case to the next level.

Q: Why did you decide to challenge India’s current abortion law?
A: A few years ago I had a patient, a 24-week pregnant woman, whose fetus was diagnosed with hydrocephalus and spina bifida. She wanted to have an abortion, but I could not give her one since she was past 20 weeks. She had the child, who is paralyzed, has no control of his bladder or bowel, and cannot go to school. Since this patient I have been trying to motivate other patients and doctors to go to court and change the law, and last summer one of my patients agreed to do so.

Read the full Q and A >

Learn more about the case >