Medical Boards under MTP Bill will make Abortion Inaccessible

Parvathi Sajiv
FEBRUARY 4, 2021

The Rajya Sabha will soon debate The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020. The Bill highlights a few changes, including the setting up of a Medical Board to decide on the abortion of pregnancies beyond 24 weeks due to foetal abnormalities. The Medical Board isn’t feasible in India’s current situation and may push accessibility to abortions further away reports PARVATHI SAJIV.

THE Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020 (‘MTP Amendment Bill’) was introduced and passed in the Lok Sabha by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in March 2020. The Bill is likely to be brought in the Rajya Sabha in the ongoing budget session, and it still has a few framework issues.


India – What is the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020

By Briti Roy Barman
Tuesday, February 2, 2021

On January 29, 2020, the Union Cabinet approved the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020, to amend the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971.

The Bill seeks to extend the termination of pregnancy period from 20 weeks to 24 weeks, making it easier for women to safely and legally terminate an unwanted pregnancy.


India – The MTP Bill Would Put Doctor Panels in Charge of Approving Late‑Stage Abortion; It’s Unfeasible and Unnecessary.

By Dipika Jain & Kavya Kartik
Feb 1, 2021

From 2015 to 2019 in Assam, 51,000 women sought treatment for complications arising from unsafe abortions. In Madhya Pradesh, 36 women died in 2018 and 56 women died in 2019 from unsafe abortions. As recently as January 2021, a 15-year-old girl died from pregnancy-related complications in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, after being denied permission to abort. A 2019 study analysing a sample of 1.8 million women from nine states found that two-thirds of abortions in India are unsafe. Despite being completely preventable, unsafe abortion continues to be the third leading cause of maternal deaths in the country. The legal framework on abortion in India, along with the dismal investment in public health care, act as major barriers to safe abortion access and prevent pregnant persons from getting the health care services they need.


India – Medical board on abortion ‘unfeasible’, says study

82% of obstetrics-gynaecology, paediatric and other specialist posts vacant

Jagriti Chandra
JANUARY 31, 2021

A panel of doctors to decide on termination of pregnancy beyond 24 weeks as proposed in the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Amendment Bill, 2020, is “unfeasible” as 82% of these posts are lying vacant in the country, finds a new study.

The MTP Bill was passed in Lok Sabha in March 2020, and is likely to be brought before Rajya Sabha during the ongoing Budget Session.


India – 15-Year-Old Rape Survivor Dies of Pregnancy-Related Complications

The girl's family had come to know about her pregnancy only on December 6, 2020, when she was six-months pregnant. She was denied permission to abort.


New Delhi: A 15-year-old rape survivor died of pregnancy-related complications at the district hospital in Uttar Pradesh’s Bareilly district on Thursday. The girl was seven months pregnant.

According to news agency PTI, police revealed on Sunday that she was admitted to the hospital on the night of January 2 and passed away on the night of January 7.


Right To Progeny And Termination Thereof Is A Fundamental Right Under Article 21: Orissa High Court

19 Dec 2020

While permitting a rape victim to terminate her pregnancy after 20 weeks of gestation, the Orissa High Court on Tuesday held that right to progeny and termination thereof is a fundamental right enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

Reliance was placed on Meera Santosh Pal v. Union of India, (2017) 3 SCC 462, where the Supreme Court held that women's right to make reproductive choice is also a dimension of personal liberty as understood under Article-21 of the Constitution.


Let us remove all doubts: Reproductive rights are essential

December 10, 2020
Anisha Aggarwal

Women have been the worst sufferers of Covid-19 due to multiple reasons. The pandemic warrants a reminder that reproductive rights are human rights – they are essential and urgent

It may not be wrong to say that human rights were introduced in India right back in 1950 with the development of the Constitution of our country. The human rights movement has seen rapid progress and success, and many national programs and mechanisms have been introduced to complement the growing recognition of an individual’s rights.


Study Shows That India’s Teen Pregnancy Has Been Dropping Steadily For The Past 20 Years

By Mahima Negi
December 9, 2020

A population-based study was published in The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health aimed to document ‘trends and inequalities in the prevalence of adolescent motherhood across low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs).‘

The results of this study will help in supporting the adolescent sexual and reproductive health target in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


Abortion Options for Indian Women: Is the New MTP (Amendment) Bill, 2020 Better and Safer?

Deepika Singhania, MAKERS India
28 November 2020

Getting an abortion in India is not just about finding the right doctor who can perform the procedure in a safe manner and through legal methods, it’s also about dealing with the stigma and navigating the laws around it. Though we may be living in 2020, if an Indian woman seeks termination of pregnancy even today, she can not do so openly without judgment and people trying to change her mind.

Says 26-year-old Mithila (name changed), “When I got pregnant, my boyfriend and I couldn’t talk to our friends or family about it. So, we looked up a gynaecologist online. As expected, we got lectured about having sex before marriage and got asked the dreaded question – do your parents know?” The doctor refused to perform the termination and as luck would have it, they found a different doctor who turned out to be very supportive.


Abortion: Everything a Woman in India Needs to Know

Deepika Singhania
27 November 2020

Abortion. Even saying the word out loud in public might elicit a death stare or two.

This medical procedure has a horde of myths and misunderstandings surrounding it, almost a taboo for many women.