Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Act, 2021 increases upper gestational limit for termination of pregnancy and to strengthen access of woman to comprehensive abortion care with compromising the service and quality of safe abortion. Full text of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Act, 2021 is as follows:-
MINISTRY OF LAW AND JUSTICE
New Delhi, the 25th March, 2021/Chaitra 4, 1943 (Saka)
The following Act of Parliament received the assent of the President on the 25th March, 2021, and is hereby published for general information:—
THE MEDICAL TERMINATION OF PREGNANCY (AMENDMENT)
NO. 8 OF 2021
[25th March, 2021.]
An Act further to amend the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971.
BE it enacted by Parliament in the Seventy-second Year of the Republic of India as follows:—
1. Short title and commencement.
(1) This Act may be called the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Act, 2021.
(2) It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint.
2. Amendment of section 2.
In the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 (hereinafter referred to as the principal Act), in section 2,—
Short title and commencement.
(i) after clause (a), the following clause shall be inserted, namely:—
‘(aa) “Medical Board” means the Medical Board constituted under sub-section (2C) of section 3 of the Act;’;
(ii) after clause (d), the following clause shall be inserted, namely:—
‘(e) “termination of pregnancy” means a procedure to terminate a pregnancy by using medical or surgical methods.’.
3. Amendment of section 3.
In section 3 of the principal Act, for sub-section (2), the following sub-sections shall be substituted, namely:—
“(2) Subject to the provisions of sub-section (4), a pregnancy may be terminated by a registered medical practitioner,—
(a) where the length of the pregnancy does not exceed twenty weeks, if such medical practitioner is, or
(b) where the length of the pregnancy exceeds twenty weeks but does not exceed twenty-four weeks in case of such category of woman as may be prescribed by rules made under this Act, if not less than two registered medical practitioners are, of the opinion, formed in good faith, that—
(i) the continuance of the pregnancy would involve a risk to the life of the pregnant woman or of grave injury to her physical or mental health; or
(ii) there is a substantial risk that if the child were born, it would suffer from any serious physical or mental abnormality.
Explanation 1.—For the purposes of clause (a), where any pregnancy occurs as a result of failure of any device or method used by any woman or her partner for the purpose of limiting the number of children or preventing pregnancy, the anguish caused by such pregnancy may be presumed to constitute a grave injury to the mental health of the pregnant woman.
Explanation 2.—For the purposes of clauses (a) and (b), where any pregnancy is alleged by the pregnant woman to have been caused by rape, the anguish caused by the pregnancy shall be presumed to constitute a grave injury to the mental health of the pregnant woman.
(2A) The norms for the registered medical practitioner whose opinion is required for termination of pregnancy at different gestational age shall be such as may be prescribed by rules made under this Act.
(2B) The provisions of sub-section (2) relating to the length of the pregnancy shall not apply to the termination of pregnancy by the medical practitioner where such termination is necessitated by the diagnosis of any of the substantial foetal abnormalities diagnosed by a Medical Board.
(2C) Every State Government or Union territory, as the case may be, shall, by notification in the Official Gazette, constitute a Board to be called a Medical Board for the purposes of this Act to exercise such powers and functions as may be prescribed by rules made under this Act.
(2D) The Medical Board shall consist of the following, namely:—
(a) a Gynaecologist;
(b) a Paediatrician;
(c) a Radiologist or Sonologist; and
(d) such other number of members as may be notified in the Official Gazette by the State Government or Union territory, as the case may be.”.
4. Insertion of new section 5A.
After section 5 of the principal Act, the following section shall be inserted, namely:—
“5A. Protection of privacy of a woman.
(1) No registered medical practitioner shall reveal the name and other particulars of a woman whose pregnancy has been terminated under this Act except to a person authorised by any law for the time being in force.
(2) Whoever contravenes the provisions of sub-section (1) shall be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both.”.
5. Amendment of section 6.
In section 6 of the principal Act, in sub-section (2), after clause (a), the following clauses shall be inserted, namely:—
“(aa) the category of woman under clause (b) of sub-section (2) of section 3;
(ab) the norms for the registered medical practitioner whose opinion is required for termination of pregnancy at different gestational age under sub-section (2A) of section 3;
(ac) the powers and functions of the Medical Board under sub-section (2C) of section 3.”.
DR. G. NARAYANA RAJU,
Secretary to the Govt. of India.