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.
Addressing the media after the Cabinet meeting, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar 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.
The minister said that the extension to 24 weeks will also help victims of rape, girls with disabilities as well as minors, who may not realize they are pregnant until later.
The minister said that 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 realize and has to go to court. This was discussed with various stakeholders and it will reduce the maternal mortality, said Javadekar.