Govt planning to legalise pregnancy termination | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Govt planning to legalise pregnancy termination

delhi Updated: Sep 13, 2008 15:57 IST

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The government is now planning to legalise termination of pregnancy till 24 weeks from the existing 20 weeks and also considering a law on surrogacy.

Union Health Minister Anmbumani Ramadoss said he was retracting his earlier statement that there was no need for a change in abortion law.

"Some of the changes which we have asked them are whether this could be increased to 24 weeks from 20 weeks. Today, legally a child could be aborted within 20 weeks," Ramadoss told NDTV.

Now abortion could be done only upto 20 weeks if the child is found to have some problems or beyond 20 weeks if the mother's life is at risk, he said.

"So we are increasing it to 24 weeks because more technology has been coming," he added.

The abortion laws in the country have become a point of debate after Nikita Mehta, a Mumbai-based woman, was denied permission by a court to terminate her pregnancy after 20 weeks though the foetus was detected with a heart problem.

He said a committee has been set up to examine the issue of surrogacy which will look into similar laws in other countries. "We are going to have a law (on surrogacy)," he added.

On smoking, the minister said the fight has always been between the "silent majority versus the noisy minority".

"Anything with tobacco, it is all related to Shahrukh Khan or Amitabh Bachchan. That's all the media has been doing. But now, media has been proactive," he said.