The Central Government notified Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Rules, 2021 to amend the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Rules, 2003.
Key amendments in the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Rules, 2003 are as follows:
- Rule 3A dealing with powers and functions of Medical Board : For the purposes of section 3,—
(a) the powers of the Medical Board shall be the following, namely:–
(i) to allow or deny termination of pregnancy beyond twenty–four weeks of gestation period under sub–section (2B) of the said section only after due consideration and ensuring that the procedure would be safe for the woman at that gestation age and whether the foetal malformation has substantial risk of it being incompatible with life or if the child is born it may suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities to be seriously handicapped;
(ii) co–opt other specialists in the Board and ask for any additional investigations if required, for deciding on the termination of pregnancy;
(b) the functions of the Medical Board shall be the following, namely :–
(i) to examine the woman and her reports, who may approach for medical termination of pregnancy;
(ii) provide the opinion of Medical Board in Form D with regard to the termination of pregnancy or rejection of request for termination within three days of receiving the request for medical termination of pregnancy;
(iii) to ensure that the termination procedure, when advised by the Medical Board, is carried out with all safety precautions along with appropriate counselling within five days of the receipt of the request for medical termination of pregnancy.
- 3B. Women eligible for termination of pregnancy up to twenty–four weeks.—
The following categories of women shall be considered eligible for termination of pregnancy for a period of up to twenty–four weeks, namely:–
(a) survivors of sexual assault or rape or incest;
(c) change of marital status during the ongoing pregnancy (widowhood and divorce);
(d) women with physical disabilities [major disability as per criteria laid down under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 (49 of 2016)];
(e) mentally ill women including mental retardation;
(f) the foetal malformation that has substantial risk of being incompatible with life or if the child is born it may suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities to be seriously handicapped; and
(g) women with pregnancy in humanitarian settings or disaster or emergency situations as may be declared by the Government.”
- In rule 4 of the said rules,— in clause (c) sub–clause (ii), for the words “twenty– weeks”, the words “twenty – four weeks” shall be substituted;
- Rule 4 sub clause(ca) is inserted. The provision provides the experience of Registered Medical Practioner:
A Registered Medical Practitioner shall have the following experience and training for conducting termination of pregnancy upto nine weeks of gestation period by medical methods of abortion, namely:–
(i) experience at any hospital for a period of not less than three months in the practice of obstetrics and gynaecology; or
(ii) has independently performed ten cases of pregnancy termination by medical methods of abortion under the supervision of a Registered Medical Practitioner in a hospital established or maintained, or a training institute approved for this purpose, by the Government.”.