The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020: A Progressive Starting Point with Enough Room for Change

By Anushka Gutte, Research Associate, Policy

On March 17, 2020 the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha through a voice vote. The Bill seeks to amend the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 by primarily proposing four changes. The Bill comes at a time when unsafe abortion is the third-leading cause of maternal mortality in India and a number of petitions have been made to amend the Act. (more…)

Bride Trafficking: Policy Interventions for an Under-Reported Plague

Bride trafficking is the illegal industry of purchasing brides as a property for due consideration. Organized traffickers sell girls and women as brides who are conned into a life of abuse, exploitation and slavery. Be it Haryana, Assam or Rajasthan, the Indian “Bride Bazaar” predominantly flourishes in parts of the country where the sex ratio is abysmally low and poverty stricken families are reluctant to spend on the dowry and marriage of their daughters. Unfortunately, there are no significant laws and policies to wrestle bride trafficking and its accompanying human rights violations in India. (more…)

Legal Journey of Section 377- A Relentless Battle of Expression and Recognition

By Abhiudaya Verma, Research Associate, Policy

The legal fight in Singapore against Section 377A of Singapore Penal Code, which can be called a close counterpart of the Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), is set to go further. On March 30th, 2020 the High Court of Singapore dismissed the plea to declare section 377A of Singapore Penal Code as unconstitutional. While upholding the law that criminalises homosexual activities between males in Singapore, the country’s Supreme Court judge also made few remarks in the Indian context saying ” I am unable to agree with the reasoning of the Indian Supreme Court given that the court appeared to have accepted a wider meaning of what constitutes “expression”, extending beyond verbal communication of ideas, opinions or beliefs”. The Indian Supreme Court on 6th September, 2018 ‘read down’ Section 377 of the IPC, making consensual sexual activity between adults no longer a criminal offence, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. For a country like India where public decency and morality plays a major role in deciding judgements, it was a fairly long and tough legal battle for arriving at this historic judgement. We have tried to trace the origins and the path that this legal battle took against Section 377 by enlisting a brief  history of its legal journey. (more…)

Animal Agriculture: Tracing the Roots of Injustice and Scope for the Future

Humans have gone from relying on nature to provide for resources, to manipulating nature to produce resources as per their will. Amidst all our self-serving advancements, we may not realize the simultaneous growth of a self destructive culture growing in our periphery. It is the rapid growth of Animal Agriculture, which we need to acknowledge as it is ailing with the symptoms of massive destruction. Certain reports from the last few years have shown its adverse effects on the climate, and if countries today want to maintain their promises for conserving the environment, then a reduction in meat consumption is the ultimate step required for decreasing their carbon footprint. (more…)

Right to Menstrual Health in India: From an Outdated Period Drama to Actionable Rights & Policies

The lack of constructive community dialogue in place proves to be the paramount reason behind the barrier in ensuring menstrual health. Giving menstrual health the precedence of a medical concern may prove to be a more tactical approach to the problem. However, in order to do so there is a pressing need for a safe space to be created for it to be socially addressed. This social mobilization may occur through interpersonal communication put in order by schools and communities which help girls in accepting menstruation as a natural process. (more…)