LG Vs Delhi Govt over Pregnancy Termination

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Evaluation of prescriptions from tertiary care hospitals across India for deviations from treatment guidelines

Delhi Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena has approved the proposal of Department of Health and Family Welfare, GNCTD for issuance of notification regarding Statutory Forms under Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Act, 2021 that provide for universal access for women to comprehensive abortion care and termination of certain pregnancies by Registered Medical Practitioners (RMP).

Reacting to the development, Delhi health minister Saurabh Bhardwaj said, “Though the note of LG saab has not reached my office yet, however, like earlier occasions, contents of the official note have been leaked to the media. Though, it is a prevalent practice to leak official notes to Media/social media. However, it becomes important because this note must have been written to Hon’ble CM, and he is in Vipasana and not in Delhi, so this note cannot reach its intended recipient in any situation”.

However, Mr Saxena has expressed grave displeasure and surprise that the matter was presented for approval after a lapse of more than two years, the communication for which was mailed by the Central Government to the GNCTD in December 2021.

While considering the significance of the issue and agreeing to the proposal, the LG directed the Health Department, GNCTD to ascertain the lapses leading to inordinate delay in processing the matter and asked to assign the responsibility and exercise caution in future.

Meanwhile, Mr Bhardwaj said that Mr Saxena’s intention regarding women is commendable and I would like to assure him regarding this Government’s commitment towards providing affordable and quality healthcare for all the citizens. In the same spirit, I am awaiting a strong action against CS Mr Naresh Kumar for not complying to my directions in the matter of alleged Burari Hospital sexual harassment, he said. Amid all these tussles, as per a source, Delhi govt is also planning to recommend suspension of the Health Secretary pending inquiry on the hospital drugs case.

In the year 2021 major amendments were made in the MTP Act by the Central Government by which the opinion of only one RMP will be required up to 20 weeks of gestation and of two RMPs for termination of pregnancy of 20-24 weeks of gestation under special circumstances. Further, the amended Act provided for the constitution of the Medical Board for granting permission for termination of pregnancy beyond 24 weeks under circumstances to be decided by the Medical Board.

Mr Bhardwaj also claimed that Mr Saxena is not informed that till date that apart from Odisha neither any BJP ruled state nor any non-BJP ruled state has issued notification regarding the revised statutory forms of the amended MTP Act,2021.