Abortion roles in India are likely to be eased out by the Union Cabinet for not only married but also for single women in India.
Changes are likely to be approved by the Union Cabinet in the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act recognizing the “failure of contraceptive” as a lawful reason for abortion, not only for married but even for unmarried women.
The proposed changes will make it easier for single women to safely and legally abort and unwanted pregnancy.
What does the law in the MTP Act currently say?
Currently, the law benefits only married women and recognizes “failure of a contraceptive” and “unplanned pregnancy” as legal reasons for abortion only in the case of married women.
The law for minors require written consent from parents, unmarried women cannot cite contraceptive failure as a reason for abortion presently.
The gestation period to be extended –
The proposed amendment in the MTP act includes extending the gestation period from the current 20 weeks to 24 weeks for special categories and this may also include single women dealing with unwanted pregnancy apart from disabled and other vulnerable women.
The current scenario under the MTP act –
Currently, pregnancy can be terminated until 20 weeks after conception under the MTP act if–
- It can harm the mother,
- If the pregnancy was the result of rape,
- If the child will be born with serious physical or mental defects or
- In case of contraceptive failure.
With the proposed amendment the government aims to end any ambiguity with regard to unmarried women and will help address the social taboo attached to sexual activity of single or unmarried women.