Centre responds to petition seeking liberalized provisions for abortion under MTP Act,1971

A petition was filed by Dr. Nikhil Datar, in 2009 in the Supreme Court, challenging the provisions of Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971, with contention to increase the timeline to terminate the pregnancy from the current ceiling of 20 weeks to 26 weeks.

The Union Government this year filed the reply through the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, wherein it states that the women doesn’t have the absolute right to abort under the Act and it must be balanced between the State interest of protecting the mother’s health and the life of the unborn child.

The government highlighted its interest to reduce the mortality rates caused by unsafe abortions an called the petition premature, as it will make it easier for vulnerable women seeking termination of pregnancy get legal access through such amendments. The Centre also added that with time amendments have been made after consulting experts to strengthen the access to abortion services, in 2019 the bill was redrafted and yet to finalise the aspects concerning health and safety of women.   

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