Analysis of Medical Termination of Pregnancy act, 1971

Objective of Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act:-

As the Title ‘’Termination of Pregnancy’’ indicates to “end the pregnancy”. The main focus or objective of the medical termination of pregnancy act, 1971 is to allow the termination of only “certain types” of pregnancy by the “Registered Medical Practitioner”.

Certain Types: – Certain Types of pregnancy has been defines in the Act under section 3 of itself.

 Registered Medical Practitioner:-

Registered Medical Practitioner means a medical practitioner:-

a. Who possesses any recognized medical qualification as defined in Cl.(h) of Sec. 2 of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 (102 of 1956).

b.  Whose name has been entered in a State Medical Register.

c. Who  has such experience or training in gynecology and obstetrics as may be prescribed by rules made under this Act.

Applicability: – The Medical Practitioner Act 1971 shall be applicable to whole of India except the State of Jammu & Kashmir.

Following are the grounds on which pregnancy may be terminated by Registered Medical Practitioner:-

  1.  Where the continuity in the pregnancy would likely to involve the risk to the life of the woman or of grave injury physical or mental health.
  2. Where There is  a risk that is the child would born then would likely to suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped.
  3.  Any, pregnancy is alleged by the pregnant woman to have been caused by rape.
  4.  Any pregnancy occurs as a result of failure of any device or method used by any married woman or her husband for the purpose of limiting the number of children.

Termination on basis of length of pregnancy where :- 

  1.  The length of pregnancy does not exceeds twelve weeks
  2. The length of pregnancy exceeds twelve weeks does but not exceeds ‘twenty four weeks’ (Amended by Amendment Bill of 2017)( reason behind exceeding the time period from 12 weeks to 24 weeks is that court has encountered with several genuine cases of abnormal fetus which leads to serious mental and physical issues to both pregnant woman and her child . as a result of this many women have approached to Supreme Court to extend the time period of 12 weeks.)

Minor and Mentally ill Person:-

Under Sub- section 4 of Section 3 of the act, a woman who is Minor, or a woman who is a not a minor but a mentally ill person (earlier it was ‘’lunatic’’, later on amended in, MTP Act, 2002) shall only be terminated only with the written consent of her guardian.


  1. Guardian – Sec2- who having the care of minor or mentally ill Person
  2. Mentally Ill Person –Sec2-Who is in need of treatment by reason of any mental disorder other than mental retardation.
  3. Minor- Sec2- who has not attained the majority under the Indian Majority Act 1975.

Where Pregnancy can be terminated:-

Section 4 of the Act defines about the places where the termination will take:-

  1. A hospital established or maintained by government
  2. A place approved by the Government or a district level committee.

District Level Committee: – (Substituted in The MTP ACT, 2002)

  • Constitution:-  The Government will constitute a District Level Committee.
  • Chairman:-  The Chief Medical Officer or District Health Officer would be a Chairperson.
  • Members of committee: – There shall not be less than three and not more than five members including the Chairperson, as The Government may specify from time to time.

Protection when act done in Good faith:-

If any Damage Caused or likely to be caused by Registered Medical Practitioner in Bona fide, in this act, then he will not be liable for any legal proceedings.


The year of 1971 was a historic era for the women of India. Earlier they had to bear the child even though there was any abnormality in the fetus which caused serious mental and physical injuries to both woman and her child, this lead to either death of mother or the child. But after coming into the existence if MTP ACT 1971, the failure of contraception was legally accepted as a valid reason for the termination of pregnancy. The Act has created both social and economical impact on the society as still in our society an unmarried pregnant woman is not accepted as she is considered as a stigma, this leads to depression and often caused to suicide. So this legislation has reduced the no. of suicides in the unmarried women. The act not only helpful to unmarried women but also to the married woman in the family planning matter.




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