The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Rules, 2021.

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The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on 12th October 2021 has published the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Rules, 2021 to further amend the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Rules, 2003.

Through this amendment, the category of women eligible for termination has been notified.

As per rule 3B, 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;

(b) minors;

(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.”

Further under rule 4(ca) a Registered Medical Practitioner shall have the following experience and training for conducting termination of pregnancy up to nine weeks of gestation period by medical methods of abortion, namely:-

  • experience at any hospital for a period of not less than three months in the practice of obstetrics and gynaecology; or
  • 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.”

Further, under rule 5, in case of termination beyond twenty-four weeks of pregnancy, the following facilities shall be provided.

  • an operation table and instruments for performing abdominal or gynaecological surgery.
  • anaesthetic equipment, resuscitation equipment and sterilisation equipment;
  • availability of drugs, parental fluids and blood for emergency use, as may be notified by the Central Government from time to time;
  • facilities for procedure under ultrasound guidance.

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