The Madras High Court recently stressed the need for extending the legal window for the medical termination of pregnancy (MTP) from 20 weeks to 24 weeks.
In the interest of the children, women and future generation, an amendment is necessary into the
Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act (MTP Act), 1971, for extending the abortion window period from 20 weeks to 24 weeks, stated the Madras High Court.
The judges noted that that in case of rape victims, there was a chance for getting conceived and those unwanted pregnancies can be terminated only if the abortion window period is extended for 24 weeks-old foetuses.
The court observed that the doctors also find diagnosing the abnormalities in the foetus within 20 weeks time frame difficult and most of the cases are usually reported very late in rural areas.
Therefore, the abortion window period should be extended from 20 weeks to 24 weeks. State governments, as well as the central government, have to establish neonatal care and advanced scan centres in all maternity hospitals.
It is an urgent need for the central government to come out with a time frame by which the MTP Act, 1971, could be amended as per the proposal drafted in 2014, extending the abortion window period from 20 weeks to 24 weeks, the court said.