High Court rules on abortion laws


The judgment is issued in response to a written statement

The High Court has issued a ruling asking why the abortion-related sections of the Criminal Code should not be annulled as it goes against the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Bangladesh Constitution.

Judge Tariq-ul Hakim and Judge SM Kuddus Zaman issued the verdict on Tuesday following a virtual hearing on a related lawsuit.

Four people, including the Secretary of the Department of Justice and Parliamentary Affairs and the Chancellor General of the Supreme Court, were made opponents.

Attorney Syeda Nasrin represented the indictment, while Deputy Attorney General Amit Das Dupta represented the state.

Attorney Syeda Nasrin said many pregnant women cause abortion to remain illegal to seek abortion from disreputable doctors and nurses. In many cases, such abortions can lead to other health complications or even death in later life.

She also said that if rape victims become pregnant, they will not be able to abort the unwanted fetus and their lives will be significantly changed.

According to the petition, abortion-related provisions of sections 312-316 of the 1860 Criminal Code are discriminatory and violate the fundamental rights guaranteed by Articles 27, 29, 31, 32, 38 and 42 of the Constitution.

“Miscarriage / abortion at any stage is punishable, but in reality abortion is possible,” the letter read, noting that it is difficult to prevent abortion in a country where the number of rape cases is alarming, the use of Low birth control and high illiteracy rates.

Illegal abortion routes endanger the lives of women and children, lead to social stigmatization and contribute to an increasing number of orphans and street children.

“In a civil sense, the law should not prescribe motherhood that respects the individual’s right to life, freedom, freedom of choice and privacy. Carrying a fetus in the womb should be a woman’s conscious choice as it will fundamentally change her life, ”it said

In § 312 it says: “Anyone who voluntarily causes a miscarriage to a woman with a child, if such a miscarriage is not brought about in good faith in order to save the woman’s life, will be punished with imprisonment of any kind for up to three years or a fine or both; and if the woman with child is quick, she will be punished with any kind of imprisonment of up to seven years and also with a fine. “

Section 316 says: “Anyone who, under such circumstances, takes an act that, if thereby caused death, would be guilty of culpable homicide and thereby cause the death of a rapidly unborn child, shall be punished with imprisonment of any kind for a period of time, which can be up to ten years and is also punishable with a fine. ”


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