The Central government has decided to increase the time limit for abortion under special cases. Now, some categories of women and special cases will be allowed to terminate their pregnancies at 24 weeks of gestation, as opposed to 20 weeks, which was the gestations period allowed earlier.
The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Rules have been revised by the Centre for some special cases. The abortion period has been increased for women who are survivors of sexual assault, rape, or incest, minors, who got widowed or divorced during pregnancy, and those with physical disabilities.
Women who are mentally ill, cases of fetal malformation which might result in physical or mental disabilities, and women in disaster or emergency situations will also be eligible to get an abortion at 24 weeks under the new rule set by the government.
As per the new rules introduced in the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Act, 2021, which was passed in March this year, state-level medical boards will be making the decision regarding the termination of pregnancy at 24 weeks in case the woman falls under any of the above-mentioned categories.
The state medical board will be reviewing requests made by women for abortion under any of the mentioned special cases and will be issuing their decision regarding the same within three days of receiving the request.
If approved, the abortion will then have to be done within five days of receiving the request from the woman. The medical board will also have to ensure that the procedure is conducted with proper precautions and care, and the woman is given proper counseling.
People in the medical community and women’s rights activists are celebrating the move of the central government of increasing the time limit for abortion, while several experts have also argued that this rule should be extended to all women, not just those who fall under the special categories.
Courtesy – www.dnaindia.com