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India’s draft legislation for personal data protection, the Personal Data Protection Bill 2021, was recently withdrawn in Parliament. The government has stated that it intends to replace it with a "comprehensive framework" and "contemporary digital privacy laws".

India’s landmark 2017 privacy judgement, Justice K.S. Puttaswamy (Retd) vs Union Of India (2017), holds that the right to privacy is protected as a fundamental and inalienable right under the Constitution. It states that the right to make reproductive choices, which includes the right to an abortion, is a part of women’s right to privacy. Importantly, it also provides a jurisprudential analysis of various constitutional values such as bodily integrity, liberty and dignity.

However, one of the thorny areas regarding this right is the lack of an established or working definition of privacy within the Indian medical context and that of remedies for the violation of personal or medical privacy. It is important to look at the personal data protection rules from the perspective of abortion and reproductive health.

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Image: Placard reads, "Abortion is Healthcare". Photo by Gayatri Malhotra on Unsplash.