MTP Act Amendment 2021- Medical Termination Of Pregnancy Extended To 24 Weeks in India
The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Amendment Act, 2021 has come into force that modifies section 3 of the medical termination of pregnancy act with effect from 24 September 2021.
The Indian Parliament on 16th March 2021 had passed the Amendment Bill which now has been brought into effect on the 24th of September 2021.
The said amendment extends the upper limit for the medical termination of pregnancy from 20 weeks to 24 weeks for certain categories of women that included ‘vulnerable women’ including rape victims.
What are the changes brought into effect by the amendment?
Section 3 of the MTP Act explains when pregnancies may be terminated by registered medical practitioners.
It has been clarified under Section 4 of the MTP Act that no termination of pregnancy shall be made in accordance with this act at any place other than-
– A hospital that is established or maintained by the government.
– A place for the time being approved by the government for the purpose of this act and subject to this condition, the termination of a pregnancy may be performed by a registered medical practitioner.
– The length of the pregnancy should not exceed the period of 20 weeks.
– Where the length of the pregnancy exceeds the duration of 20 weeks but does not exceed the duration of 24 weeks in case of such category of women as stated under the rules made under the MTP Act.
The act further explains that if not less than to registered medical practitioners are of the opinion in good faith that-
– if the pregnancy is continued would involve a potential risk to the life of the pregnant woman or could result in grave injury to her mental or physical health, or
– a substantial risk appears that if the child were born, the child would suffer from any serious mental or physical abnormality.
The act explains where any pregnancy occurs as a result of the failure of any device or method used by any woman or her partner in order to prevent the pregnancy, the anguish caused by such pregnancy may be presumed to constitute a grave injury to the mental health of the pregnant women.
The act further explains, where any pregnancy is alleged by the pregnant women to have been caused by rape, the anguish caused by the pregnancy shall be presumed to constitute a grave injury to the mental health of the pregnant woman.
Concealing The Identity-
Maintaining the confidentiality of the identity of the pregnant woman whose pregnancy is to be terminated such as her name and other particulars is of utmost importance and shall not be revealed except to a person authorised in any law which is in force and any person acting in contravention of this provision will be punished with imprisonment that may extend to the duration of one year, or with fine, or both.
Composition of the Medical Board-
The Medical Board will be comprised of-
-A radiologist or sonologist
-Other members as may be specified by the state government.