Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act

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Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act

  • Delhi High Court has permitted a woman to terminate her over 30-week pregnancy as the foetus had a rare chromosomal disorder
  • According to the petition, the foetus was suffering not only from Edward Syndrome (Trisomy 18) but also from non-ossified nasal bone and bilateral pyelectasis

About MTP Act, 2020

  • It amends the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971
  • It regulates the conditions under which a pregnancy may be aborted
  • Time Period: The act increases the time period within which abortion may be carried out
  • 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 and 20 weeks
  • The Bill allows abortion to be done on the advice of one doctor up to 20 weeks, and two doctors in the case of certain categories of women between 20 and 24 weeks.
  • Medical Board: It sets up state level Medical Boards to decide if a pregnancy may be terminated after 24 weeks in cases of substantial foetal abnormalities
  • Upper gestation limit not to apply in cases of substantial foetal abnormalities diagnosed by the Medical Board
  • Special category: It enhances the upper gestation limit from 20 to 24 weeks for special categories of women which is defined in the amendments to the MTP Rules and includes survivors of rape, victims of incest and other vulnerable women (like differently-abled women, minors) etc
  • Privacy: 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
  • Extension of ground of failure of contraceptive: It has been extended to women and her partners from woman and her husband

Other provisions for Abortion

  • Abortion in India is also governed by sections 312-316 of the Indian Penal code

Edward Syndrome

  • It is also known as Trisomy 18
  • It is a chromosomal condition associated with abnormalities in many parts of the body
  • Individuals with this abnormality often have slow growth before birth (intrauterine growth retardation) and a low birth weight
  • Affected individuals may have heart defects and abnormalities of other organs that develop before birth
  • Other features of trisomy 18 include a small, abnormally shaped head; a small jaw and mouth; and clenched fists with overlapping fingers