Abortion Law in Nepal – Quick Guide (2080)

This article will help you to know all the valuable information about abortion law in Nepal.

Abortion simply means the process of terminating the pregnancy by removing the embryo or fetus. Abortion is the most important method to keep pregnant women safe in a specific situation.

Sometimes abortion is safer than the birth of a child for a woman. But unsafe abortion is the major cause of the death of pregnant women in many underdeveloped countries.

Nearly 56 million abortions are done each year while 45% of them are unsafe. In the past, abortions are done in a traditional way.

For example; by using herbal medicines, using sharp tools, or by forceful massage. In modern times, the way of abortions is changed. Medications or surgery is done for the abortion.

Abortion Law in Nepal

There are basically two types of abortion. They are ;

  1. Natural abortion: It is a spontaneous abortion where there is a natural miscarriage of a new fetus due to health problems or physical illness or accident of any pregnant woman. Natural abortion is not a crime in itself.
  2. Artificial abortion: Artificial abortion is the process of losing or destroying a fetus in the womb of a pregnant woman by using any kind of external force or interference or by any means.

The National Criminal Code 2074 guides the legal provision related to abortion law in Nepal, and the Right to Safe Maternity and Reproductive Health Act, 2075 is a special law.

Legal Provisions Regarding Abortion Law in Nepal

Condition when abortion can be done legally:

Section 189 of the National Criminal Code 2074 states that abortion can be said legal if:

(a) The pregnancy of up to twelve weeks is terminated with the consent of the pregnant woman,

(b) The pregnancy is terminated with the consent of the pregnant woman, upon the opinion of a licensed doctor that her life may be in danger or her physical or mental
health may deteriorate or a handicapped child will be born if the pregnancy is not terminated,

(c) The pregnancy of up to eighteen weeks conceived from rape or incest is terminated with the consent of the pregnant woman,

(d) The pregnancy of a woman with human immunedeficiency virus (HIV) or another incurable disease of similar nature is terminated with her consent.

Also Read: Marriage Registration in Nepal

Prohibition of Abortion in Nepal

According to section 188 of the National Criminal Code 2074 regarding abortion law in Nepal,

Subsection(1): No person should commit an abortion or do any act with intent to cause an abortion illegally.

Subsection(2): No person should cause a pregnant woman to abort, by coercing, threatening, alluring, or inducing her to so abort.

Subsection(3): A person who commits the offense referred to in subsection (1) or (2) shall be liable to:

(a) A sentence of imprisonment for a term, not exceeding one year and a fine not exceeding ten thousand rupees in the case of pregnancy of up to twelve weeks,

(b) A sentence of imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years and a fine not exceeding thirty thousand rupees in the case of pregnancy of more than twelve weeks and up to twenty-five weeks,

(c) A sentence of imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years and a fine not exceeding fifty thousand rupees in the case of pregnancy of more than twenty-five weeks.

Points to be Noted Regarding Abortion Law in Nepal

  1. If the pregnancy is not terminated at once by an act of abortion and the child is born alive but the child dies immediately after birth as the consequence of such act, such act should be deemed to constitute the offense of abortion.
  2. If an act was done by a person in making an attempt to cause the death of a pregnant woman does not cause the death of the woman but causes the termination of her pregnancy of twenty-five weeks or more, the offender shall be liable to a sentence of imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, in addition to the sentence to be imposed under this Act or other law.

Legal Provision Against Abortion of Pregnant Women

Abortion law in Nepal regarding the abortion of pregnant women according to section 188, National Criminal Code 2074 is as follows ;

Subsection(6): If any act was done by a person with premeditation against a
pregnant woman causes an abortion, that person should be liable to the
following sentence despite the fact that he or she has not done such
act with the intention of causing abortion:

(a) A sentence of imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year in the case of pregnancy of up to twelve weeks,

(b) A sentence of imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years in the case of pregnancy of more than twelve weeks and up to twenty-five weeks,

(c) A sentence of imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years in the case of pregnancy of more than twenty-five weeks.

Legal Provision regarding the Abortion after Identification of the Sex of the Fetus

Relating to Abortion Law in Nepal, Section 188, The National Criminal Code 2074 states,

Subsection(7): No person should, with the intention of causing abortion, do, or cause to be done, any act by which the sex of the fetus is identified, and abort or cause abortion following such sex identification. If done, then;
(a) A sentence of imprisonment for a term of three months to six months, in the case of the offense of identifying, or causing identification of, the sex of the fetus with
the intention of causing abortion,

(b) A sentence of imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, in addition to the sentence specified in subsection (3), in the case of the offense of aborting or causing an abortion after identifying the sex.

For Questions and Answers

Can the abortion be done with the consent of pregnant women in Nepal?

The pregnancy of up to twelve weeks is terminated with the consent of the pregnant woman and the pregnancy is terminated with the consent of the pregnant woman, upon the opinion of a licensed doctor that her life may be in danger or her physical or mental health may deteriorate or a handicapped child will be born if pregnancy is not terminated. Similarly, the pregnancy of a woman with a human immune deficiency virus (HIV) or another incurable disease of similar nature is terminated with her consent.

Can abortion be done if the pregnancy is conceived from rape or incest in Nepal?

A pregnancy of up to eighteen weeks conceived from rape or incest can be terminated with the consent of the pregnant woman.

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