The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2014 – progressive or regressive?
The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, 1971, lays down the existing guidelines and criteria for the “who, when, where, how and why” of the medical termination of pregnancy in India. Recently, the Draft MTP (Amendment) Bill was tabled for deliberations. The highlight of the bill is its proposal that the words “registered medical practitioners” be replaced with “registered healthcare providers”. This implies that pregnancy can be terminated not only by medical practitioners with medical qualifications, but also practitioners qualified in homeopathy, ayurveda, unani or siddha, nurses or auxiliary nurse midwives. The draft bill also proposes an increase in the time limit for the termination of pregnancy, from the existing 20 weeks to 24 weeks. In addition, it seeks to do away with any time limit if foetal abnormality is detected.
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