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Abortion limit increased from 20 to 24 weeks, Cabinet approves changes

The proposed increase in gestational age will ensure dignity, autonomy, confidentiality and justice for women who need to terminate pregnancyPremium
The proposed increase in gestational age will ensure dignity, autonomy, confidentiality and justice for women who need to terminate pregnancy

  • The extension to 24 weeks will help survivors of rape, victims of incest and other vulnerable women
  • Name and other particulars of a woman who wants an abortion will not be revealed except to a person authorised

The Union Cabinet today approved the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020 which proposed extension of the upper limit for abortions to 24 weeks from 20 weeks. The Bill will be introduced in the ensuing session of the Parliament.

The extension to 24 weeks will help survivors of rape, victims of incest and other vulnerable women (like differently-abled women, Minors) etc, the Union Cabinet said in a statement.

Furthermore, the extension of upper limit for abortions will not to apply in cases of substantial foetal abnormalities diagnosed by Medical Board. The composition, functions and other details of Medical Board to be prescribed subsequently in Rules under the Act.

Name and other particulars of a woman whose pregnancy has been terminated shall not be revealed except to a person authorised in any law for the time being in force.

"In a progressive reform and giving reproductive rights to women the limit of 20 weeks of medical termination of pregnancy has been increased to 24 weeks. This is important because in first 5 months there are cases where the girl concerned doesn't realise and has to go to court. This was discussed with various stakeholders. This will reduce maternal mortality," Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said after the Cabinet Meeting.

The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020 is for expanding access of women to safe and legal abortion services on therapeutic, eugenic, humanitarianor social grounds. It is a step towards safety and well-being of the women and many women will be benefitted by this.

The proposed increase in gestational age will ensure dignity, autonomy, confidentiality and justice for women who need to terminate pregnancy, stated the Union Cabinet.

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