New Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday (January 29) approved the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill which will now allow women to terminate their pregnancy at 24 weeks which was earlier at 20 weeks.
In an address to the media at New Delhi today, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar announced that for Medical termination of pregnancy, permission will be required from two doctors and one of them must be a government doctor.
"The limit for abortion has been increased from 20 weeks to 24 weeks. There was the demand from section of women, doctors and court had also requested the same," he said. The extension in abortion upper limit will help victims of rape, girls with disabilities as well as minors, who may not realise they are pregnant until later, he added.
Also, for women who are unmarried, the Bill seeks to relax the contraceptive-failure condition from “only married woman or her husband” to “any woman or her partner” thus allowing them to medically terminate the pregnancy.
The Bill will be presented during the budget session of the Parliament. The cabinet took the decision acting upon the recommendation of the Group of Ministers.
The Cabinet approved the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020 drafted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to amend the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971.