HC allows minor rape victims to terminate a pregnancy after 26 weeks-The Hindu-21/07/2022
The Delhi High Court has permitted minor rape victims to terminate their 26weeks pregnancy, saying the mental and physical trauma they would have to undergo if they were forced to carry the foetus and take on the onerous duties of motherhood is “unimaginable”.
The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Act, 2021
Reform of the abortion laws in favor of the well-being of pregnant women is one aspect of the removal of gender discrimination. The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act (MTP Act) 1971, was breakthrough legislation in this regard, as it reduced the number of unsafe illegal abortions. With advancements in ultrasonography and genetic technologies, many fetal malformations and genetic disorders were being diagnosed after 20 weeks of gestation. The fact that termination of pregnancy was not legally permitted beyond 20 weeks of gestation caused great distress to such women and highlighted the need to increase the upper limit of termination of pregnancy. Concurrently, there has been greater awareness around the world of the rights of women to make decisions regarding their own bodies. The MTP Bill, 2020, has come as a breath of fresh air extending the term limit for legal abortions to 24 weeks for certain categories of women and removing the limit for abortion in the presence of a significant fetal abnormality. The amendments were recently approved by Parliament and the President of India, and have become law as of March 25, 2021. This paper presents the amendments made and their implications for obstetric, ultrasonographic, and fetal medical practice. It also presents a critique of the various Acts and suggests further amendments that would enhance the value of the Act.
The High Court said although the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act deals with pregnancies that may extend up to 24 weeks, it can, in exceptional situations, invoke its “extraordinary powers conferred by the Constitution” to sanction termination of pregnancy.