Legal Barriers to Abortion Access During the Covid-19 Pandemic in India

India confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on 30th January 2020. In an attempt to combat the pandemic, the Government of India announced a nation-wide lockdown starting on 25th March 2020. This lockdown was implemented without providing adequate time and resources for citizens to prepare for it.

The lockdown had an unprecedented impact on people’s ability to access safe abortion services. This was partly due to suspension of transport and lack of adequate services for non-COVID related healthcare issues, but also due to the legal framework of abortion in India which hinders access to abortion. 

This report by the CJLS highlights instances of disadvantage faced by pregnant persons, especially marginalised persons, during the COVID-19 pandemic and critically engages with the legal barriers on access to safe abortions.