Parliament has passed the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020 with the Rajya Sabha approving it on Tuesday. The Bill provides for an outer limit of 24 weeks for medical termination of pregnancy. The bill seeks to amend the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971. It provides for enhancing the upper gestation limit from 20 to 24 weeks for special categories of women but does not specify the category.

 

At present, the upper limit for abortion in India is 20 weeks. The women seeking to terminate the pregnancy beyond 20 weeks have to face cumbersome legal recourse.

The health minister moved The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill 2020 in the upper house which was passed by voice vote. The bill also ensures that women get access to safe and legal abortion services on therapeutic, eugenic, humanitarian grounds.

“The bill was drafted after extensive expert consultation involving all stakeholders such as gynecologist association, related NGOs, Indian Medical Association, etc. A Group of ministers chaired by Nitin Gadkari, and the ethics committee was also consulted, and only after elaborate discussion the bill took shape. The bill was also discussed in great detail in Lok Sabha before being passed unanimously,” said Harsh Vardhan in Rajya Sabha. Lok Sabha passed the bill last year.

The law is aimed to help the rape victims, ill and under-age women to terminate the unwanted pregnancy lawfully. It also proposes not to reveal the name and other particulars of a woman whose pregnancy has been terminated.

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