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Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act of India.
The mtp act also called the medical termination of pregnancy act of India, came to power in 1971 and this act governs the abortion laws in India. The main aim of this act was to help increase safe and legal abortions in India and to standardize abortion related health care. The mtp act indirectly wanted to stop unsafe abortions and improve maternal health during and after abortions in India. The mtp act has improved the access to abortion services in india. As per a recent news article, it is estimated that 13 women die every day due to unsafe abortions in India. See this link
Even though India has one of the world’s best medical termination of pregnancy acts, very few people know its benefits and safety features and there are still many illegal and unsafe abortions happening every day in India.
What does the mtp act of India say?
The medical termination act of India lays down abortion rules regarding various aspects like
Are abortions legal in India?
Abortions in India are legal only when they are done as per the abortion rules as per the mtp act. The abortion or pregnancy termination should be done by registered medical practitioner approved by the mtp act. Any registered doctor who has done master’s degree or a diploma in obstetrics and gynecology can do legal abortions in India.
The pregnancy termination should be done in a hospital, clinic or institution registered under the medical termination of pregnancy act. These institutions can be approved up till 12 weeks or up till 20 weeks of pregnancy. So make sure that the healthcare institute that you go to has the required approval status. For example, Pai Hospital is registered for legal and safe abortions till 20 weeks of pregnancy under the mtp act if India.
For the abortion to be legal, it should be done with in the legal time limit under the act. In India, abortion can legally be done till 20 weeks of gestation.
Abortion rules regarding consent
For any woman above 18 years of age, only the woman’s consent is required to do the mtp. In case of minors of mentally ill women, the legal guardian should give consent.
Below 12 weeks of pregnancy, the opinion of one abortion specialist is required whereas above 12 weeks till 20 weeks, the opinion of 2 abortion specialists is required as per the abortion law.
Which women can request for abortion?
Women can request for abortion if:
Continuation of pregnancy constitutes risk to the life or grave injury to the physical or mental health of woman.
Substantial risk of physical or mental abnormalities in the fetus as to render it seriously handicapped.
Pregnancy caused by rape (grave injury to mental health of the woman)
Contraceptive failure (presumed to cause grave injury to mental health of the woman).