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Centre notifies new rules allowing abortion till 24 weeks of pregnancy in special cases

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Centre notifies new rules allowing abortion till 24 weeks of pregnancy in special cases
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New Delhi: The government has notified new rules under which the gestational limit for termination of a pregnancy has been increased from 20 to 24 weeks for certain categories of women.

The new rules come under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Act, 2021 passed by Parliament earlier this year.

Under the new rules, seven specific categories will be eligible for termination of pregnancy up to 24 weeks: survivors of sexual assault or rape or incest; minors; change of marital status during the ongoing pregnancy (widowhood and divorce); women with physical disabilities; mentally ill women; foetal malformation that has a substantial risk of being incompatible with life or if the child is born, he/ she may suffer from serious physical or mental abnormalities; and women with pregnancy in humanitarian settings or disaster or emergency situations as may be declared by the government.

Earlier, abortion required 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.

According to the new rules, a state-level medical board will be set up to decide if pregnancy may be terminated after 24 weeks in cases of foetal malformation and if the foetal malformation has a substantial risk of it being incompatible with life or if the child is born it may suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities to be seriously handicapped.

The function of the Medical Board shall be to examine the woman and her reports if she approaches for medical termination of pregnancy and provides the opinion with regard to the termination of pregnancy or rejection of a request for termination within three days of receiving the request.

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TAGS:Medical termination of pregnancy act 
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