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Medical Termination Pregnancy - Shanmugam IAS academy in coimbatore
Medical Termination Pregnancy


What’s in news?

The Centre has informed the Delhi High Court that it has initiated the process for an inter-ministerial consultation on raising the gestation period for terminating pregnancy in case of health risk to the mother or foetus.

Key data’s:

  • A petition was filed by a social activist and lawyer about the raising the time limit for terminating pregnancy. The cap was raised from 20 weeks to 24 weeks.
  • The administrative ministry has already initiated the process of inter-ministerial consultation for the amendment in Medical Termination Pregnancy (MTP) Act 1971 and will finalize the same as soon as possible.
  • Under the new framing draft policy, it contended that unmarried woman and widows too should be allowed to undergo legal abortion.
  • The Health Ministry said it had sought comments from the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and Niti Aayog on amending the MTP Act and had in March forwarded a final draft to the law ministry for its approval.

Supreme Court Judgement:

The Supreme Court, in 2017, had declined to amend the Act which prohibits termination of pregnancy beyond 20 weeks, saying that the issue fell within the legislative realm.

Abortion and types:

  • Induced Abortion: When a woman gets a pregnancy terminated voluntarily from a service provider, it is called induced abortion. 
  • Spontaneous Abortion: It is when the process of abortion starts on its own without any intervention. In common language, this is also known as miscarriage.

MTP Act, 1971:

  • Abortion in India is legal only up to twenty weeks of pregnancy under specific conditions and situations.
  • One, the continuance of the pregnancy would involve a risk to the life of the pregnant woman or of grave injury of physical or mental health, or
  • Two, there is a substantial risk that if the child were born, it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped.
  • The MTP Act allows abortions of more than 20-week pregnancies only when “it is immediately necessary to save the life of the pregnant woman”.
  • It also requires the judiciary’s sanction for such abortions.


Links to note:

Medical Termination Pregnancy

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