Cabinet approves the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020
29 JAN 2020
The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020 to amend the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971. The Bill will be introduced in the ensuing session of the parliament.
Salient features of proposed amendments:
Proposing requirement for the opinion of one provider for termination of pregnancy, up to 20 weeks of gestation and introducing the requirement of the opinion of two providers for termination of pregnancy of 20-24 weeks of gestation.
Enhancing the upper gestation limit from 20 to 24 weeks for special categories of women which will be defined in the amendments to the MTP Rules and would include ‘vulnerable women including survivors of rape, victims of incest and other vulnerable women (like differently-abled women, Minors) etc.
The upper gestation limit not to apply in cases of substantial fetal abnormalities diagnosed by the Medical Board. The composition, functions and other details of the Medical Board to be prescribed subsequently in Rules under the Act.
Name and other particulars of a woman whose pregnancy has been terminated shall not be revealed except to a person authorized in any law for the time being in force.
The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020 is for expanding access of women to safe and legal abortion services on therapeutic, eugenic, humanitarian or social grounds. The proposed amendments include substitution of certain sub-sections, insertion of certain new clauses under some sections in the existing Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971, with a view to increase upper gestation limit for termination of pregnancy under certain conditions and to strengthen access to comprehensive abortion care, under strict conditions, without compromising service and quality of safe abortion.
It is a step towards the safety and well-being of the women and many women will be benefitted from this. Recently several petitions were received by the Courts seeking permission for aborting pregnancies at a gestational age beyond the present permissible limit on grounds of foetal abnormalities or pregnancies due to sexual violence faced by women. The proposed increase in gestational age will ensure dignity, autonomy, confidentiality, and justice for women who need to terminate the pregnancy.
In order to increase access of women to safe abortion services and taking into account the advances in medical technology, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare proposed amendments after extensive consultation with various stakeholders and several ministries.
Abortion means discontinuing a pregnancy that might have resulted out the failure of the safety precautions.
Abortions are legalized in India as there is a population explosion if not adequate steps are taken by the government to have legalized abortions.
Abortions are not legal in some middle eastern countries due to religious reasons.
Abortions can be done either with tablets or by undergoing a simple procedure called suction evacuation.
It is necessary to do a proper ultrasound and document that the pregnancy is there inside the uterus and the size of the pregnancy as treatment varies accordingly.
Consuminng tablets by self is dangerous and sale of abortion pills by pharmacies without prescription mounts to criminal offense. As serious complications can occur if tablets are consumed without medical supervision.
It is important to undergo this procedure in a government-approved family planning centre
Unplanned pregnancy contact the right hospital and have a legalised treatment option
Unplanned pregnancy if dealt in the right way will avoid risks and side effects.
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