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Concerns over MTP Bill, 2020

  • IASbaba
  • April 3, 2021
  • 0
UPSC Articles
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ELECTIONS/ GOVERNANCE

Topic:

  • GS-2: Mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections(women)

Concerns over MTP Bill, 2020

Context: Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill (MTP), 2020 was recently passed in Rajya Sabha.

Issues

  • Lack of consultation with stakeholders
  • Lack of inclusion of transgender people within the MTP framework
  • Lack of emphasis on centring women’s autonomy.
  • Medical boards would constitute violations of privacy 
  • Cause inordinate delays in abortion access due to lack of specialists
  • Lack of time limits for decision-making
  • Ambiguous representation of women
  • Extensive procedural hurdles
  • Abortion under the MTP Amendment Bill will not be allowed at the request of a pregnant person, but is conditional on authorisation by the doctor. This goes against the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence on reproductive autonomy and bodily integrity.
  • The Bill will allow for abortions without any upper gestation limit only for foetuses with “abnormalities”, thereby fostering the ableist rationale of the State. 
  • The Bill is also overwhelmingly cis-heteronormative, with only cisgender women being contemplated in it, and not persons with other gender identities.

Conclusion

  • The State continues to control women’s reproductive and sexual rights while wielding the argument of “progress”. 
  • The narrow understanding of women’s rights, which underpins the legislation, serves to explain much of the hetero-patriarchal regulatory orientation of the law. 
  • The co-option of “women’s rights” in the rhetoric to promote the Bill is ironic, as its provisions continue to criminalise abortion, and perpetuate harmful stereotypes and stigma around reproduction, sexuality and motherhood. 
  • The persistent notion that women are “natural” mothers, as reiterated in the Rajya Sabha debates, furthers the paternalistic idea that women need hand holding in making decisions related to their sexual and reproductive rights.

Note – The Conclusion comes from the ‘Feministic School of thought’ Going with this conclusion might back fire, however you can use it PSIR and Sociology.

Connecting the dots:

  • Reproductive rights of a women vs Rights (if any) of an unborn child

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