Amended draft Bill triggers concerns on abortion

The decision to drop a clause to permit nurses, auxiliary nurse and midwife and AYUSH doctors to perform abortions has come despite a push by the AYUSH Ministry to endorse the provision.

Published: 12th July 2019 08:25 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th July 2019 08:25 AM   |  A+A-

Abortion

Image for representational purposes.

Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  The latest version of the draft Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill has dropped a key provision — of allowing AYUSH practitioners to carry out abortions — triggering concerns that unsafe abortions could continue unabated in the country, mainly in small towns and rural areas.

The draft Bill, which proposes to allow women to abort foetus till 24 weeks of pregnancy under specified circumstances, as against the current 20 weeks, has been circulated to all ministries by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare before it is presented before the Union cabinet.

The decision to drop a clause to permit nurses, auxiliary nurse and midwife and AYUSH doctors to perform abortions has come despite a push by the AYUSH Ministry to endorse the provision.“It was thought that trained manpower, rather than just gynaecologists, is required to attain the goal of largely safe abortions. However following a counterview by doctors’ associations, that clause has been removed,” said an official.

Government data suggests 8% of maternal mortality cases in India is due to unsafe abortions — the third leading cause of maternal deaths.Sabu George, an activist for women’s reproductive rights and against female foeticide, said, “Even in advanced countries, nurses carry out abortions. But here, under pressure from doctors, the government has buckled and has omitted the most crucial provision.”

What the MTP Bill says

Allow medical termination of pregnancy up to 24 weeks in case of disability/deformity in the foetus, threat to the life of mother or foetus, conception occurring due to failure of contraception or if pregnancy is a result of rape or can cause mental trauma to mother

The extension is being allowed as with advancements in medicine, abortions till 24 weeks of gestation are considered largely safe and a big number of such women have no choice but to reach courts for permission
One doctor, instead of two, can allow mothers to terminate a pregnancy between  12 to 24 weeks

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp