Cabinet approves raising abortion upper limit to 24 weeks; bill to be tabled in next Parl session
New Delhi, Jan 29: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020 to amend the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971. The Bill will be introduced in the upcoming session of Parliament. This will help in decreasing maternal morbidity and mortality and may also help in preventing wastage of resources invested in a pregnancy and preserving the woman's health, strength, and above all, life.
While addressing the media after the Cabinet meeting, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said the upper limit for permitting abortions has been extended from the present 20 weeks to 24 weeks. He also said that this will ensure safe termination of pregnancies and also give women reproductive rights over their bodies.
The extension to 24 weeks will also help victims of rape, girls with disabilities as well as minors, who may not realise they are pregnant until later, he said.
"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," he said.