To avoid the misuse of induced abortions, most countries have enacted laws whereby only qualified Gynecologists under conditions laid down and done in clinics/hospitals that have been approved can do abortions. The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act was enacted by the Indian Parliament in 1971 and came into force from 01 April, 1972. The MTP act was again revised in 1975.

The MTP Act lays down the condition under which a pregnancy can be terminated, the persons and the place to perform it.

The reasons for which MTP is done, as interpreted from the Indian MTP Act, are:

  1. Where a pregnant woman has a serious medical disease and continuation of pregnancy could endanger her life like:
    • Heart diseases.
    • Severe rise in blood pressure.
    • Uncontrolled vomiting during pregnancy
    • Cervical/ breast cancer.
    • Diabetes mellitus with eye complication (retinopathy).
    • Epilepsy.
    • Psychiatric illness.
  2. Where the continuation of pregnancy could lead to substantial risk to the newborn leading to serious physical / mental handicaps examples like
    • Chromosomal abnormalities.
    • Rubella (German measles) viral infection to mother in first three months.
    • If previous children have congenital abnormalities.
    • Rh iso-immunisation. link
    • Exposure of the foetus to irradiation.
  3. Pregnancy resulting of rape.
  4. Conditions where the socio-economic status of the mother (family) hampers the progress of a healthy pregnancy and the birth of a healthy child.

    Failure of Contraceptive Device irrespective of the method used (natural methods/ barrier methods/ hormonal methods).

    This condition is a unique feature of the Indian Law. All the pregnancies can be terminated using this criterion.