New Delhi: Delivering relief to hapless women, especially rape survivors, the Central government on Wednesday approved the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020. Now, the abortion limit will be 24 weeks instead of the existing 20 weeks.
The new Bill that will be introduced in the Parliament session beginning January 31, will replace the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971.
What will happen now?
Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said that this decision will help the rape victims and minors to get rid of unwanted pregnancy. Not only this, the bill will allow unmarried women to have abortions for legitimate reasons. Till now only married women were allowed abortion in the event of diseases and unplanned pregnancy.
What will be the procedure?
For this, the permission of two doctors will have to be taken, in which one doctor should be from any government hospital. If there is any problem in the womb, then there is a provision for the medical board.
Why it was needed?
Such demands have been made for a long time on behalf of women as well as doctors and the court. However, this bill will have to go a long way to become law.
According to the report, the bill was being discussed with various stakeholders since 2014. For this, a group of ministers was also formed under the chairmanship of Union Minister Nitin Gadkari. The proposal for the Bill was approved in the Union Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. For this, the Abortion Act (Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act 1971) will be amended.
The Bill has been drafted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, said Javadekar, adding that there have been many cases of mother’s death after abortion in 20 weeks. Experts believe that it would be safe to have an abortion in 24 weeks.