New rules extending abortion limits to 24 weeks under special circumstances

According to the new rules of the government, the limit of abortion for women has been increased from 20 to 24 weeks in certain cases. The government has issued a notification for the new rule. Under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Act, 2021, these rules will be applicable in the case of women who are victims of sexual assault or rape, minors, and women whose marital status (widow or divorce) has changed during pregnancy, and women with disabilities.

Cases of mentally ill women and fetal deformities have also been included in the new rules. It has been said by the government that the risk to women in such cases is very high. Not only this, even if a child is born in such cases, he may suffer from abnormalities physically or mentally.
These new rules related to abortion are under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Act, 2021, passed by Parliament in March. Earlier it was necessary to get recommended by at least one doctor for abortion within 12 weeks of conception and two doctors for abortion within 12 to 20 weeks. But according to the new rule, state-level medical boards will be formed, which will decide whether abortion can be performed after 24 weeks in cases of malformation of the fetus where there is a substantial risk of incompatibility with life or physical or mental abnormalities.

The medical board will have to examine the woman and her report and then make a decision within three days of the appeal whether to accept or reject the woman’s appeal for abortion. The board will also have to ensure that the abortion procedure is carried out with all precautions on their recommendation. The Board will have to complete the process within five days of receipt of the request for the same.