The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Tuesday, 12 October, notified the new rules for the medical termination of pregnancy, which permit abortion for up to 24 months in certain cases, as compared to the previously-mandated 20 months.
The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Act, 2021, lists the cases wherein women may be permitted to end their pregnancy as per the increased period:
survivors of sexual assault or rape or incest
change of marital status during the ongoing pregnancy (widowhood and divorce)
women with physical disabilities [major disability as per criteria laid down under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 (49 of 2016)]
mentally ill women including mental retardation
the foetal malformation that has substantial risk of being incompatible with life or if the child is born it may suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities to be seriously handicapped
women with pregnancy in humanitarian settings or disaster or emergency situations as may be declared by the government.
The new guidelines come after the amendment of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act in March this year.
The amended Act also provides for a state-level medical board, which will be set up to decide if pregnancy can be terminated after 24 weeks in cases of foetal malformation and if the foetal malformation has a substantial risk of posing threat to life.
The functions of the board will include the examination of the woman's case, acceptance or rejection of the request, and supervision of the MTP procedure within five days after the request is placed.
. Read more on Gender by The Quint.Govt Notifies Rules Allowing Abortion Up to 24 Weeks for Minors, Rape SurvivorsIn TMC's Festival Shopping List, 'Big' BJP Leaders, 'Caste-Aways' & Classic Cong . Read more on Gender by The Quint.