17th March 2021
Rajya Sabha passed a bill that allows abortion up to 24 weeks for special categories of women defined under the MTP act. The newly proposed bill is an amendment to the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971.
Due to the demand for an increase of the gestational limit to ensure women’s well-being and safety, the bill has passed.
As per section 3 Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971, the upper limit for termination of pregnancy has increased to twenty-four weeks from the present 20 weeks. Earlier, women seeking termination after 20 weeks need to seek permission from the court. According to the new amendment, one doctor's opinion is required when termination is done within 20 weeks and two doctors for termination up to 20-24 weeks. The upper limit will not be applicable if the mother and the fetus are at high risk. Furthermore, a Medical Board will be constituted of a Gynecologist, a paediatrician, and a radiologist, and a few other members as per the state government.
Many parliament members demanded the bill be sent to a selected committee of the upper house but have been defeated by voice vote.
Author: Papiha Ghoshal
PC: The Print