The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was passed by Rajya Sabha in March 2021. In 2020, the lower house passed the bill. This is a significant bill that aims to improve women's reproductive rights in India. In this blog, you will learn what there is to know about the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) MTP Bill, 2021.
Provisions of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2021
- The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act of 1971 is being amended by this bill. In India, this Act governs abortions. It was revised twice, in 1975 and 2002. Abortion was illegal in India before the passage of this law, according to Section 312 of the Indian Penal Code.
- Pregnancy can be medically terminated by a licensed medical practitioner under the MTP Act of 1971:
- Where the pregnancy isn't more than twelve weeks long (for this, the opinion of one doctor was required).
- Where the pregnancy has lasted more than twelve weeks but not more than twenty. In this situation, two doctors would conclude that continuing the pregnancy would endanger the mother's mental and/or physical health, and/or that if the infant were to be born, it would suffer from severe physical or mental defects, making it handicapped.
- The legislation also mandated minor pregnant women to obtain written permission from their guardians before having an abortion.
The New Bill's Proposed Features:
- The bill requires abortions to be performed up to 20 weeks after a single medical practitioner's referral.
- Two doctors' opinions are required to terminate pregnancies between 20 and 24 weeks. Special groups of women, such as rape/incest victims, differently-abled women, and minors, are granted an extension of the gestation period up to 24 weeks.
- Abortions after 24 weeks will be decided on by a state-level Medical Board if there are significant fetal anomalies.
- A gynecologist, a pediatrician, a radiologist or sonographer, and any other number of members as decided by the state government will make up the Board.
- Abortions should only be performed by physicians who specialize in gynecology/obstetrics.
- The “name and other details of a woman whose pregnancy has been terminated shall not be revealed,” according to the Bill, except to an individual approved by statute.
- When abortions are desired to end pregnancies resulting from rape and the gestation period is longer than 24 weeks, the only choice is to file a writ petition.