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The US Supreme Court rejected a petition from anti-abortion groups aiming to overturn the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of an abortion pill “mifepristone”.

  • Mifepristone is a medication used to end pregnancies by blocking the hormone progesterone and dilating the cervix.
  • It is typically taken with misoprostol to induce contractions and end a pregnancy within 10 weeks. The success rate of this pill is 97.4%.
  • On the other hand, ‘miscarriage’ is used when a fetus is expelled from the fourth to the seventh month of gestation, before it is viable.
  • Section 312 of IPC criminalises causing a miscarriage, except to save the woman’s life. The woman who attempts to cause her own miscarriage also falls under this section.
  • The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, of 1971 was introduced to allow safer abortions.
  • As per the amended act (2021) for pregnancy up to 20 weeks, the opinion of one doctor is required and for pregnancy of 20 to 24 weeks, the opinion of two doctors is required.
  • Unmarried women seeking abortions after 20 weeks face challenges due to a lack of specific provisions.
  • The term ‘abortion’ is used only when an ovum is expelled within the first three months of pregnancy.