MEDICAL TERMINATION PREGNANCY ACT (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – Social Issues)

News-CRUX-10     17th January 2024        
Samadhaan

Context: The Centre has moved Delhi HC seeking a recall of an order allowing a widow to terminate her 29 week pregnancy, saying the unborn child has a fair chance of survival and the court should consider protecting the right to life of the fetus.

Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, 1971

  • About: According to this act, termination of pregnancy is permissible for a variety of conditions up to 20 weeks of gestation
  • Termination: It  is allowed when the continuation of pregnancy poses a risk to the life of the pregnant woman.
  • It is permissible when there is a significant risk that the child, if born, would face serious physical or mental abnormalities.


Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, 2021

  • About: The Act extends the permissible termination of pregnancy from 20 weeks to 24 weeks, providing women with a longer gestation period for making this choice.
  • Recommended by: One doctor for pregnancies up to 20 weeks and by two doctors for specific categories of women within the 20 to 24-week range.

oIf the gestational period exceeds 24 weeks, termination is only allowed in cases of substantial foetal abnormalities determined by a Medical Board or when the mother's life is at risk.

  • Applicable: Unmarried women can now seek an abortion in the event of contraceptive failure, with this ground being applicable for pregnancies up to 20 weeks.
  • Medical Board: It will be established by all state and union territory governments, responsible for evaluating whether a pregnancy can be terminated after 24 weeks due to substantial fetal abnormalities.
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