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GOI INTRODUCES NEW RULES FOR ALLOWING ABORTION TILL 24 WEEKS

GOI INTRODUCES NEW RULES FOR ALLOWING ABORTION TILL 24 WEEKS

Context:

The government has introduced new rules under the “Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Act, 2021, which was passed in March 2021.

Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Act, 2021:

  • Under the new rules, the gestational limit for termination of pregnancy has increased from 20 weeks to 24 weeks for exceptional categories of women in India.
  • Women for whom the limit has been increased comprise of minors; survivors of sexual assault, rape or incest; those having physical disabilities and those whose marital status changes during pregnancy that is in case of widowhood or divorce.
  • Including cases of foetal malformation in which there is a risk of physical or mental disorder, mentally ill women and women in disasters or emergency situations, declared by the government.
  • As per the new rules, state-level medical boards will be formed to decide if pregnancy may be terminated after 24 weeks in cases of foetal malformation where there is a substantial risk of incompatibility with life.
  • The medical boards will examine the woman and her reports and then either accept or reject the proposal for medical termination of pregnancy within three days of receiving the request.

Previous Rules:

  • In the past, the opinion of one doctor was that she should have an abortion for up to twelve weeks of pregnancy. The opinion of two doctors on abortion was required between 12 and 20 weeks.

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