Failure of contraceptive will be a lawful reason for abortion irrespective of whether the woman is married or otherwise, if a Health Ministry recommendation gets necessary Cabinet and Parliamentary nod. The Ministry in its recommendations for amending the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act has said a woman opting for abortion irrespective of whether she is married or single, should be given the choice.
“We are very keen to push these amendments. We have done all due consultations with various stakeholders. We have said any woman who wants an abortion, whether she is single or married, can opt for it,” a senior Health Ministry official said. He said the Cabinet note regarding this has been prepared by the Ministry which will be taken up shortly.
At present, the law recognises failure of contraceptive as a legal reason for abortion only if the woman is married. The official said a lot of maternal deaths occur due to improper abortions by untrained people. The ministry has also recommended allowing homeopaths, nurses and midwives to conduct non-invasive abortions with training. “We have also recommended that we will expand the base and include Auxiliary Nursing Midwife (ANM) as well as doctors practising AYUSH like homeopathy and other traditional medicines,” another official said.
Sources said the Ministry is “very keen” to push for the amendments as it will also bring a lot of relief to single women who want to terminate pregnancy in a legal manner. Sources said once the amendments is passed in the Parliament, the ministry will elaborate on implementation of the law by notifying rules. The proposed amendments also include extending the gestation period from 20 weeks to 24 weeks.