Govt. plans equal abortion rights for single women

December 12, 2016


Showing concern towards the single women, the government now allows to terminate the unwanted pregnancies.

The health ministry has recommended recognizing "failure of contraceptive" and "unplanned pregnancy" as lawful reasons for abortion among all women, married or otherwise. Currently, the law considers these 2 reasons for abortion only in case of “married” women. The relief is part of a series of recommendations made by the health ministry for amendment of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act. 

According to the sources, the cabinet would take up the proposal, after the ongoing Parliament session ends. As per the existing MTP Act, for abortion, a doctor should indicate a reason. This could be to save the life of the woman, in case of rape or incest, or due to the physical or mental health of the woman. 

Recognizing the growing reality of sexually active single or unmarried women, the government's recommendations aim to widen the purview of legal abortion. The move is progressive and will give women safe and legal abortion, the experts opine.

Other amendments to the law dating back to 1971 would allow abortion any time during pregnancy for "selective" foetal abnormality, which cannot be detected during the 20-week gestation period. Currently, the law allows medical abortion only till 20 weeks of pregnancy. 

Adding to it, it will also help address the social taboo attached to sexual activity of single or unmarried women and instead allow them a right over their body.

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