Abortion limit raised from 20 to 24 weeks | India News


NEW DELHI: The government has notified the new Doctor Termination of pregnancy (amendment) Rules, 2021, which defines the eligibility criteria for termination of pregnancy up to 24 weeks versus the previous limit of 20 weeks.
Eligible categories include survivors of sexual assault, rape, or incest, minors, women with physical disabilities, women with mental illness, including those who are retarded, and situations where fetal malformation carries a substantial risk of being incompatible with life. This category also includes cases in which it is assessed that, if the child is born, it may suffer physical or mental abnormalities and may be seriously disabled.
The rules create space for women whose cases can be considered where there is a change in marital status during the ongoing pregnancy, such as widowhood and divorce. The eligibility categorization also includes cases of women with pregnancy in disaster or emergency situations as declared by the government.

The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Act 2021 went into effect on September 24. The Act amends the MTP Act of 1971, which regulates the conditions under which medical termination of pregnancy must be pursued.
The opinion of a registered doctor, eligible according to the rules, is required for the termination of pregnancy in different gestation ages up to 20 weeks. The opinion of two registered physicians is required beyond the 20 weeks to 24 weeks gestation period.
The opinion for the medical interruption of pregnancy beyond 24 weeks of gestation will be issued by a medical board constituted by the respective state governments or administrations of the UT in the approved facilities. Two registered physicians eligible under MTP rules will perform the termination of the pregnancy as determined by the medical board.
The rules stipulate that the medical board will have the power to allow or deny termination of pregnancy beyond 24 weeks of the gestation period after due consideration and to ensure that the procedure is safe for the woman.

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