V S Chandrashekar
Sep 19 2020
The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Amendment Bill 2020 is due to be discussed in an upcoming Rajya Sabha session. This is the second time, in its 49 years of existence, that the MTP Act will be amended. While introducing the Bill in the Lok Sabha, the Health Minister highlighted the government’s intent to improve access to safe, affordable and legal abortion services for women without compromising on safety, quality of care and more importantly to ensure dignity, autonomy, confidentiality and justice for women who need to terminate their pregnancies.
The Amendment Bill proposes some welcome changes-- it replaces the phrase “married woman and her husband” with “woman and her partner”; increases the upper gestation limit to 20-24 weeks for “certain categories of women”; reduces opinion required for termination of pregnancy between the 12th and 20th week of gestation from two providers to one and removes upper gestation limit for foetal abnormalities ‘necessitated by the diagnosis of a Medical Board.”
Abortion And The Law In India
Sangram Chinnappa & Abeera Dubey
10 Jun 2020
On 22nd May 2020, out of barely 30 cases enlisted on the daily board of Bombay High Court, 4 cases were for medical termination of pregnancy. One such case was of a 13-year old minor girl who was 22-weeks pregnant. The petition was filed through the girl's mother, a pavement dweller living in Thane. The girl in the case is a survivor of heinous rape alleged to have been committed by her own father. It has been reported that the father used to regularly abuse the girl, she then moved to south Mumbai to live with her aunt and stayed with her during the lockdown.
On 14th May, the girl told her aunt about the assault, after which she fell ill and was taken to the hospital. She was later diagnosed to be 22 weeks pregnant. When she went with her aunt to file the FIR at Crawford Police Station they wrongly refused to lodge her complaint and directed her to go to Thane Police Station. This was not an easy task as the entire country was in lockdown due to COVID-19. After they finally managed to lodged the FIR at the Thane Police Station under various sections of IPC and POCSO she was taken to taken to a JJ Hospital for an abortion. As she was already beyond the 20 week limit stipulated in the law, her family was informed that their only recourse was to get a judicial order from the High Court. The family which has a tough time making ends meet and without any source of income due to the Pandemic were made to run from pillar to post to find a lawyer who could help them out pro bono as they could never afford the fees for filing a Writ Petition in the High Court.
Poland creatively opposes abortion ban despite the lockdown
April 25th, 2020
Katarina Panić, Belgrad
Poland has been debating abortion in almost every election for decades. This time the ruling nationalist Law and Justice Party, PiS misuses the coronavirus crisis to tighten what is already one of the most restrictive laws in Europe, despite significant public opposition.
So far, abortion was only allowed in the case of foetal abnormalities, rape, incest or a risk to the mother's health. Last week Polish lawmakers tried to ban termination in the case of congenital foetal malformation, the cause of the vast majority of legal abortions in the majority Catholic country.
FEATURE: INDIA Prime Minister’s Cabinet tables proposal for abortion law reform
14 February 2020
International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
On 29 January 2020, the Cabinet of Prime Minister Modi published the text of a bill to amend the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971. The bill is to be introduced in the ensuing session of the Union Parliament, where it will be debated. A summary of the current law, the amendments it proposes, and responses to the bill by leading NGOs working for abortion rights in India are reported below. Text in quotes is taken direct from the source.
The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act 1971
The 1971 Act says that a pregnancy may be terminated up to 20 weeks of pregnancy with the approval of one registered medical practitioner up to 12 weeks of pregnancy, or the approval of “no less than two registered medical practitioners” from 12 to 20 weeks of pregnancy. Approval must be given “in good faith” that:
Seeking a more progressive abortion law
February 10, 2020
The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Bill doesn’t do enough to secure women’s choices and interests
Recent reports have shown that more than 10 women die everyday due to unsafe abortions in India, and backward abortion laws only contribute to women seeking illegal and unsafe options. The Cabinet has recently approved the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020 (MTP Bill, 2020) which will soon be tabled in Parliament. It seeks to amend the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 (MTP Act) and follows the MTP Bills of 2014, 2017 and 2018, all of which previously lapsed in Parliament.
Women don’t have absolute right to abort: Government to SC
The affidavit says an amendment in the law is in works and that it has sought “changes in section 5 MTP Act on grounds of substantial foetal abnormalities.
Sep 19, 2019
HT Correspondent, New Delhi
A pregnant woman does not have an absolute right to abort her pregnancy and the right to abortion has to be balanced against compelling state interest to protect the mother’s health and life of the unborn child, asserts the ministry of health and family welfare in an affidavit filed by it in the Supreme Court.
The affidavit, filed in response to a petition by Dr Nikhil Datar which seeks to raise the cap for terminating pregnancy from the current 20 weeks to 26 weeks and the quashing of section 5 of the Act, says an amendment in the law is in works and that it has sought “changes in section 5 MTP Act on grounds of substantial foetal abnormalities. The draft has been sent to the Ministry of Law and Justice for vetting.”
Inside Australia's only clinic providing late surgical abortions
By Hagar Cohen and David Lewis
Sep 7, 2018
The journey to the Marie Stopes clinic in Melbourne's east is a harrowing one for the 200 or so women who go there each year for a procedure denied to them elsewhere.
By the time they reach the building, sitting behind a car park on an unassuming suburban street, they have likely been turned away by multiple doctors and hospitals.
And until the Victorian state government banned the practice in 2015, there was a very real risk of encountering anti-abortion protesters at the entrance.
Abolish three-day waiting period for abortion, TD demands
Heads of a Bill to regulate the termination of pregnancy is due to be published next month
Fri, Jun 22, 2018
Sarah Bardon Political Reporter
Solidarity TD Ruth Coppinger has called on the Government to remove the three-day waiting period from the proposed abortion legislation.
Ms Coppinger has sent a lengthy submission to Minister for Health Simon Harris, who is preparing a Bill to regulate the termination of pregnancy.