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CJI Said India’s Abortion Law is Far Ahead of Other Countries

Utkarsh Classes Last Updated 01-01-2024
CJI Said India’s Abortion Law is Far Ahead of Other Countries Bill and Act 3 min read

The Supreme Court gave a 27-year-old woman 24 hours to reconsider her plea for immediate termination of her 26-week pregnancy, a day after a two-judge bench sharply differed on the case.

  • Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud said India's abortion law is liberal, pro-choice and far ahead of other countries while hearing about a married woman wanting to terminate her 26-week pregnancy medically. 
  • The woman had approached the court, saying she was unaware of her third pregnancy due to a disorder called lactational amenorrhea, and suffered from postpartum depression and poor financial conditions.

Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act 1971

  • The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 (“MTP Act”) was passed due to the progress made in the field of medical science with respect to safer abortions.
  • In a historic move to provide universal access reproductive health services, India amended the MTP Act 1971 to further empower women by providing comprehensive abortion care to all.
  • The 2021 Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act allows women to terminate pregnancy up to 20 weeks with a medical practitioner's opinion.
  • Certain categories of vulnerable women, such as rape survivors, minors and mentally infirm women, can undergo abortion up to 24 weeks under the law. 
  • Abortion is only permitted after 24 weeks in cases where there are serious threats to the life or well-being of a woman or in cases of substantial fetal abnormalities. In such situations, medical boards are set up by courts to aid in decision-making.

Conditions of termination of Pregnancy

  • In order to terminate a pregnancy up to 20 weeks of gestation, the opinion of one Registered Medical Practitioner (RMP) is required. 
  • For pregnancies between 20-24 weeks of gestation, the opinion of two RMPs is necessary. 
  • In cases where there are substantial fetal abnormalities and a pregnancy needs to be terminated after 24 weeks, the opinion of the State-level medical board is essential.



Answer: 1971

Answer: Upto 24 weeks
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