MUMBAI: Even as the issue of abortion remains a sensitive one, a latest global report showed that 70 per cent respondents in India support abortion and said it should be permitted under any circumstances.
"Seven in 10 (70 per cent) of Indian respondents say abortion should be permitted whenever a woman decides to have one, while 30 per cent said it should be done under certain circumstances, such as if a woman has been raped," Ipsos, an independent market research company based in France, said in a study.
The poll conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs via Ipsos Online Panel system in 23 countries sheds light on the global citizens' views on the controversial subject of abortion. Currently, abortion in India is legal only upto 20 weeks of pregnancy under specific conditions and situations.
The report further showed, 20 per cent respondents said abortion should not be permitted under any circumstances, except when the life of the mother was in danger. Only 2 per cent said it should not be permitted under any circumstance.
Globally, three quarters (74 per cent) of respondents in 23 countries said abortion should be permitted while 45 per cent said it should be permitted whenever a woman decides. Only 5 per cent said abortion should never be permitted, regardless of the circumstances. "It is a woman's fundamental right to have control over her own body, and purely her own decision on whether to opt for abortion or not," Monica Gangwani, Executive Director, Ipsos Healthcare, said.
"While right to abort continues to be a contentious issue, there are certain situations that necessitate this - could be medical- where there is a known harm to mother or baby; financial- where the mother (or family) is not able to support the child financially; or in case of unplanned pregnancy (either married/ unmarried) due to failure of contraception, rape, etc," she said.
"As long as the woman is an adult of sound mental health, she should be empowered to take this decision," she added. Abortion has been a matter of debate worldwide with many countries still consider it as murder, while women rights insist it to be a fundamental right to have control over one's own body.