Irrespective of their marital status, a woman should be legally allowed to abort her foetus if a failed contraceptive led to her pregnancy, said one of the Health Ministry’s recommendations for amending the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act. The rule currently applies only to married women.

“We are very keen to push for these amendments,” a senior ministry official said, adding that they had made the recommendation after “due consultations with various stakeholders”. The amendment would need Cabinet and Parliament approval. A Cabinet note on the matter, prepared by the Home Ministry, will be taken up soon, the official said.

Among other recommendations made by the ministry include training homeopaths, midwives and nurses to conduct non-invasive abortions, as a abortions carried out by untrained medicos often resulted in maternal deaths. These amendments would come as a relief for single women looking to end their pregnancy legally.