India government allows abortion upto 24 weeks for minors, rape survivors

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The government of India on Tuesday brought in new rules increasing the gestational limit for abortion from 20 weeks to 24 weeks for certain categories of women. The rules come under Section 6 of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 (MTP Act).

The Parliament had amended the MTP Act in March 2021 and increased the gestational limit for medical termination of pregnancy to 24 weeks from 20 weeks for “certain categories of women.” The new rules elaborate upon the phrase “certain categories of women.”

Under the new rules, minors and survivors of sexual assault, rape or incest are eligible for termination of pregnancy up to 24 weeks. The rules also cover women with physical disabilities, mental illness, and substantial foetal malformation. Further, women who undergo a change of marital status while pregnant, such as widows and divorcees are also permitted to terminate their pregnancy up to 24 weeks. Women in humanitarian settings or disaster or emergency situations will also be permitted to terminate their pregnancy up to 24 weeks, provided that the government specifically declares the same.

The amended act also provided for the formation of a medical board by state governments. The new rules define the powers and functions of this board. The new rules say that the medical board has the power to sanction termination of a pregnancy after 24 weeks of gestation if the diagnosis of any substantial foetal abnormalities necessitates it. In such cases, the medical board has to form an opinion within 3 days of receiving a request for an abortion.

vegiraghav on October 15th, 2021 at 18:28 UTC »

It is to be noted that previous restrictions were for medical reasons and nothing else. Now that medicine has advanced, this has happened.

i_am_ur_dad on October 15th, 2021 at 16:59 UTC »

uplifting news on India

inb4 the thread gets locked

[deleted] on October 15th, 2021 at 16:51 UTC »

Most people here are missing the point. The reason for abortion ban in India was to reduce/avoid girl infanticide that was happening in the 80s/90s. Families were deliberately aborting girls as in many communities boys were considered as boon to the family. Most of such abortions were done against the will of the mother. see the men-women ratio across Indian states to get an idea about this issue.

Edit: It is also illegal for the doctor to reveal the baby gender to parents prior to the birth.

Edit 2: Correction: u/Indira-Gandhi is correct about the 1971 decimalization act. I was confused with PC&PNDT Act regulates the misuse of diagnostic techniques for determination of sex of the foetus. This also made a lot of doctors from performing abortions due to possibility of charged if the aborted baby is a girl. Pasting the MTP act from wiki below for reference. I should've read the link I shared before making a incorrect comment. Thank you u/Indira-Gandhi for correcting. The female infanticide is real though.

The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, 1971 provides the legal framework for making CAC services available in India. Termination of pregnancy is permitted for a broad range of conditions up to 20 weeks of gestation as detailed below:

1)When continuation of pregnancy is a risk to the life of a pregnant woman or could cause grave injury to her physical or mental health;

2)When there is substantial risk that the child, if born or dead would be seriously handicapped due to physical or mental abnormalities;

3)When pregnancy is caused due to rape (presumed to cause grave injury to the mental health of the woman);

4)When pregnancy is caused due to failure of contraceptives used by a married woman or her husband (presumed to constitute grave injury to mental health of the woman).