MEDICAL TERMINATION OF PREGNANCY (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2020
19, Mar 2020
Prelims level : Polity & Governance – Bills Mains level : GS-II Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector or Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
Why in News?
- The Lok Sabha has passed a Bill to extend the upper limit for permitting abortions from 20 weeks to 24 under special circumstances.
The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act 1971:
- It is a law that legalized abortion in India up to 20 weeks of pregnancy, based on certain conditions and when provided by a registered medical practitioner at a registered medical facility.
- As per the provisions of the MTP Act, only the consent of woman whose pregnancy is being terminated is required.
- In case of below the age of 18 years, or a mentally ill woman, consent of guardian (MTP Act defines guardian as someone who has the care of the minor. This does not imply that only parent/s are required to consent) is required for termination.
Provision of Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Bill, 2020:
- The draft Bill proposes requirement of opinion of one registered medical practitioner (RMP) for termination of pregnancy up to 20 weeks of gestation.
- Similarly, it also provides for the requirement of opinion of two RMPs for termination of pregnancy of 20 to 24 weeks.
- The Bill also seeks to increase the upper gestation limit from 20 to 24 weeks for survivors of rape, victims of incest and other vulnerable women. It will also include minor girls.
- The Bill seeks to relax the contraceptive-failure condition for “any woman or her partner” from the present provision for “only married woman or her husband”, allowing them to medically terminate the pregnancy.
Significance of Bill:
- The Bill will provide greater reproductive rights to women as abortion is considered an important aspect of the reproductive health of women.
- Deaths and injuries from unsafe abortions are largely preventable provided services are performed legally by trained practitioners.
- This will help in decreasing maternal morbidity and mortality and may also help in preventing wastage of resources invested in a pregnancy.
- The special categories of women include rape survivors, victims of incest, the differently abled and minors.