Under the law, only a ‘Registered Medical Practitioner’ can perform the abortion procedure. For a doctor to be recognised as a registered medical practitioner, the following conditions must be fulfilled:
- They must possess recognised medical qualifications such as MBBS, MD, MS, etc. (A list of these qualifications can be found in the Schedule of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956).
- They must be enrolled in the State Medical Register.
- They must have training in gynaecology and obstetrics (OB-GYN)1.
Only in case of emergency abortions, any registered medical practioner, regardless of whether they are an OB-GYN, can conduct the abortion in good faith.
If the abortion is carried out by a person who is not a registered medical practitioner, then such a person can be punished with rigorous jail time between 2 and 7 years2.
It is important to note that ayurvedic, unani or homeopathic doctors, or nurses, cannot legally perform abortions.0
- Section 2(d), The Medical Termination Of Pregnancy Act, 1971.
- Section 5(2), The Medical Termination Of Pregnancy Act, 1971.