NEW DELHI: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has termed as "historic" the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, recently passed by Rajya Sabha.
"A historic bill ensuring dignity, safety and wellbeing of women! The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill 2020 passed in Rajya Sabha today will enhance access to comprehensive abortion care for women in need and strengthen confidentiality clause as well," the Union Health Minister tweeted.
On Tuesday, Rajya Sabha passed the bill that seeks to allow special categories of women to undergo abortion up to 24 weeks. It earlier mandated an upper gestation limit of 20 weeks. The special categories include rape survivors, victims of incest, differently-abled, and minors. The bill also removes the upper gestation limit in cases of substantial foetal abnormalities diagnosed by the Medical Board.
The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020 was passed in the Upper House by a voice vote after it was moved by Harsh Vardhan for consideration and passing.
The Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha last year. A demand to send the bill to a select committee of the Upper House was defeated by voice vote.