Polity Notes

MEDICAL TERMINATION OF PREGNANCY AMENDMENT BILL 2020

Rajya Sabha on 16 March 2021 passed MTP Amendment Bill 2020 by Voice Vote. Lok Sabha has already approved the bill last year (17th March 2020). This bill ensure that women get access to safe & legal abortion services on therapeutic (i.e. -medical) , eugenic (i.e. - to improve genetic quality of human population) and on humanitarian grounds . This bill allows abortion up to 24 weeks for special catagories of women from the existing 20 weeks gestation period.

This bill seeks to amend MTP Act 1971. It provides for enhancing the upper gestation limit from 20 to 24 weeks but does not specify the catagory. The bill leaves the catagories to be defined by states in the amendments to the MTP rules and includes survivors of rape , victims of Incest – ( i.e Sexual intercourse between persons too closely to marry ), other vulnerable women like differently abled women and minors.

Currently abortion requires the opinion of one doctor if it is done within 12 weeks of conception and two doctors if it is done between 12 - 20 weeks.

Now this bill allows abortion up to 20 weeks on the advice of one doctor and two doctors in the case of certain catagories of women between 20 - 24 weeks.

This bill also sets up State Level Medical Boards to decide if a Pregnancy is to be terminiated after 24 weeks in case of SUBSTANCIAL FOETAL ABNORMALITIES.

TIME PERIOD EARLIER MTP ACT, 1971 MTP AMENDMENT BILL 2020
1. UPTO 12 WEEKS ONE DOCTOR ONE DOCTOR
1. 12 – 20 WEEKS TWO DOCTORS ONE DOCTOR
1. 20 – 24 WEEKS NOT ALLOWED ON THE ADVICE OF TWO DOCTORS FOR SOME CATAGORY OF WOMEN
4. MORE THAN 24 WEEKS NOT ALLOWED ON THE ADVICE OF MEDICAL BOARD IN CASE OF SUBSTANCIAL FOETAL ABNORMALITY
5. ANY TIME DURING PREGANCY ON OR, IF IMMEDIATELY E DOCT NECESSARY TO SAVE LIFE OF PREGNANT WOMEN