Extend legal abortion period to 24 weeks: Madras HC
Madras High Court has directed the central government to come out with a time frame by which the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, 1971 could be amended to extend the legal abortion window period from 20 weeks to 24 weeks. A proposal in this regard has been pending since 2014.

A division bench of Justice N Kirubakaran and Justice SS Sundar, pained by a World Health Organisation (WHO) report that 17 lakh children are born every year in India with birth defects, took serious note of the inordinate delay in bringing in the amendments to existing statutes despite proposals pending for more than five years.

The court also observed that by extending the legal period for abortion in such cases, families could have been saved of the emotional and physical trauma.

It said there was an urgent need for the central government to come up with a time frame by which the existing laws could be amended to extend the abortion window period upto 24 weeks. The court also pointed out the necessity for establishing neonatal care and advanced scan centres in all states. Further, the 20-week period encourages unsafe abortions at homes in rural areas, the court said.

The court also took note of the plight of the rape victims who get conceived. “Those unwanted fetus can be terminated if the abortion window period is extended so that birth of such children which would grow up with stigma can be avoided. In the interest of women, children and future generation, the amendment is necessary.” the court said.

Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/hc-bats-for-extending-legal-abortion-period-upto-24-weeks/articleshow/69032686.cms
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