September 14, 2008

Government to review MTP Act

WHEN JUSTICE is delayed on earth, the gracious hands of the Lord does it in heaven and its echo reaches the earth. When such is the intensity, man reconsiders his faults and tries to tighten his loose ends. Want to know more?

Remember, Niketa Mehta and Haresh Mehta, the couple who filed a petition in the court seeking to abort their first issue who was destined to be born with acute medical anomalies. But the Mehtas lost their case on the basis of Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, 1971, which limits the period of abortion only up to 20 weeks. The final verdict came and disappointment spelled over the couple. They just left everything to their fate. But God was kind enough and Niketa suffered a miscarriage. Isn’t it a miracle, but miracles do happen in this wonderful world of human beings! In the backdrop of this particular case, the government is now reviewing the MTP Act.

Is the MTP Act, 1971, not old enough to be applied today? Is it going to become the plight of even more Mehtas in the future? Why the period of abortion should not be extended over 20 weeks?

In a bid to answer all such relevant questions, the health ministry under the aegis of health minister Anbumani Ramadoss, is contemplating over the revival of the MTP Act, 1971, to extend the period of medical termination of pregnancy from 20 weeks to 24 weeks. The debate doesn’t end here, what if some medical anomalies are discovered after 24 weeks – will the little life be allowed to come into this world? The clock is ticking and the debate is still open with many more ifs and buts! Still a long way to go….

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