INDIA – Ministry of Health & Family Welfare organises National Consultation on Comprehensive Abortion Care

The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India, organised a National Consultation on Comprehensive Abortion Care (CAC) on 24-25 April 2023 in New Delhi. Around 150 participants attended the workshop from different States of India. The main objective of the programme was to focus on dissemination of the amendment passed in 2021 to the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Act & Rules 2021. This new law allows abortion up to 20 weeks on the opinion of just one medical practitioner. For pregnancies between 20 and 24 weeks, the opinion of two doctors is required. The law also aims to further improve access, demand, safety and quality of abortion care services in the country. CAC services aim to ensure safe and quality abortion care for women seeking abortions so that maternal deaths due to unsafe abortions can be prevented.

The changes covered in the act include: the definition of a “grave injury” to the mental health of a pregnant woman in a pregnancy up to 20 weeks and that rape constitutes a grave injury to the woman’s mental health and allows termination up to 24 weeks. Termination for substantial fetal abnormalities can take place at any time in a pregnancy. Lastly, no registered medical practitioner is allowed to reveal the name and other particulars of a woman whose pregnancy has been terminated under this Act with some exceptions.

SOURCE: Andaman Sheekha, by Sanjib, 30 April 2023 ; The Gazette of India, 25 March 2021