What Is The New Rule Under Abortion For Women In India?

Medical Pregnancy Termination Act

The government has made a substantial change in the rules of termination of pregnancy. In the new Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 2021, the government has extended the termination of the pregnancy period from 20 weeks to 24 weeks. Abortion in India is getting liberalised with every new rule.

Since 1971, abortion has been legal in India under certain rules and regulations.

The new law is for rape survivors, along with women with disabilities. Moreover, the new law also covers mentally ill women, women with mental abnormalities. In addition, it will also see the cases of women who are going through a transition in their life. For eg. divorce or have become a widow during the time of pregnancy. 

The government passed the Medical Termination of Pregnancy(Amendment) Act (2021) earlier this March. 

What does the rule under the Medical Pregnancy Termination Act say?

According to the old rule, women had to take the opinion of at least one doctor for abortion in the first 12 weeks. Additionally, she had to take advise of two doctors if she needed to abort from 12 weeks to 20 weeks.

Now that the termination has been extended to 24 weeks, women need to consult a state-level medical board. This medical board will be in charge of seeing if a woman can get her pregnancy terminated after 20 weeks. Additionally, it is mainly in the situation of foetal malformation. The foetal malformation is essentially an abnormal condition in the baby’s development during the times of pregnancy. 

This medical board will decide if getting the the termination will be safe or not, between 20 weeks to 24 weeks. Moreover, they will also make sure that women receive proper counselling before the abortion. As per the law, the board should decide on the procedure within five days of getting the request for the same. 

Some Experts Say New Rule Should Be For All

Experts believe that the new rule is better than before. But the government could extend the facility to all pregnant women. In addition, some have also said that technology is improving every day. And one can expect that all women should get the right to get the termination of pregnancy in 24 weeks. 

More or less, women experts on the subject have welcomed this move by the government. They have also said that this will help Indian women to raise their voices for reproductive and abortion rights. 

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A student by day and a writer by night, Diksha Arya holds interest in writing poems and reading articles on politics and policies