Maharashtra government sets up panel to probe illegal abortion

Amidst the rise in the cases of illegal abortion in Maharashtra, a four-member committee, chaired by the retired Director General of Police (DGP) Ajit Parasnis, was established on Monday. The health department, under secretary JS Tadavi, on Monday issued a notification.

The committee will investigate such illegal abortion cases and prepare a report. The committee will probe the shortcomings in hospitals and suggest measures to curb illegal abortions in the state.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government in August 2019 had set up a similar committee headed by the former (DGP) Datta Padsalgikar to probe illegal abortion cases reported in the Nashik civil hospital in April 2017. The gynaecologist at the Nashik civil hospital was accused of having carried out an abortion on a 24-week-old foetus that year. Under existing laws, abortions can’t be carried out beyond the 20-week limit. The gynaecologist and another resident doctor were booked by the Nashik police under relevant sections of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act and the Indian Penal Code.

The government, in the notification, said the committee investigated Nashik case. However, similar cases were later reported in the state and, therefore, a new committee has been formed.

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