MTP ACT, 2021 (Syllabus: GS Paper 2– Health and Gov. Policies)

News-CRUX-10     16th May 2024        
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Context: Recently, the Supreme Court declined a 20-year-old woman's plea to terminate her pregnancy, emphasizing the right to life of a 28-week-old fetus, despite allowing exceptions for rape survivors or minors beyond the 24-week limit under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, stating, "The child in the womb has a fundamental right to live."

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.
  • Section 3: Abortion can be 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.

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

  • Unmarried women can now seek an abortion in the event of contraceptive failure, with this ground being applicable for pregnancies up to 20 weeks.
  • A Medical Board 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.
  • Protect: The MTP Act only protects the mother’s well-being and health.

Article 21

  • About: It  ensures the "Protection of Life and Personal Liberty," stating that no individual can be deprived of their life or personal liberty except through due legal process.

Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, 1971

  • According to this act, termination of pregnancy is permissible for a variety of conditions up to 20 weeks of gestation
  • Termination 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.
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