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RS passes Bill to raise upper limit for abortions

The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020 to amend the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 was passed by voice vote. The Bill was passed by Lok Sabha about a year ago.

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

Rajya Sabha on Tuesday passed a Bill to raise the upper limit for permitting abortions from the present 20 weeks to 24 weeks for “special categories of women” including rape survivors, victims of incest, minors and the differently abled.

The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020 to amend the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 was passed by voice vote. The Bill was passed by Lok Sabha about a year ago.

A demand to send the Bill to a select committee of Rajya Sabha was defeated by voice vote, along with some other amendments proposed by members.

Various opposition parties like the Congress, CPI-M and the NCP demanded on Tuesday that the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020 be sent to a select committee of the Rajya Sabha.

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said the amendments in the Bill have been made after studying global practices and wide consultation within the country. He told the House that extensive consultations were done before the Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha last year and it was also approved by the Ethics Committee and a Group of Ministers headed by Nitin Gadkari.

“Under the leadership of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, we will not frame any law which harms women. This is to preserve and protect dignity of women,” he said.

The minister said the suggestions and objections made to the bill by some members were symbolic in nature and aligned with their party ideology.

~With inputs from PTI~