The Union Cabinet on Wednesday raised the upper limitfor allowing abortion from the present 20 weeks to 24 weeks and will beintroducing a bill in Parliament for the same.
TheCabinet approved the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020 toamend 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.
Theminister 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 arepregnant 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.