Abortions to be allowed at 24 weeks, cabinet okays changes to law
The Union Cabinet on Wednesday raised the upper limit for allowing abortion from the present 20 weeks to 24 weeks and will be introducing a bill in Parliament for the same.
The Cabinet approved the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020 to amend the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971.
Union Minister Prakash Javadekar, addressing the media after the Cabinet meeting, said the upper limit for permitting abortions has been extended to ensure safe termination of pregnancies and also give women reproductive rights over their bodies.
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The extension to 24 weeks will also help victims of rape, girls with disabilities as well as minors, who may not realise they are pregnant until later, he said. “In a progressive reform and giving reproductive rights to women the limit of 20 weeks of medical termination of pregnancy has been increased to 24 weeks. This is important because in the first 5 months there are cases where the girl concerned doesn’t realise and has to go to court. This was discussed with various stakeholders.
“This will reduce maternal mortality,” he said.