The time limit for abortions has been increased from seven to nine weeks to facilitate family planning, the Drug Controller General of India has said.
Nozer Sherian, secretary general of the Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies (FOGSI), said today, "The Drug Controller General has increased the time limit of abortions to 63 days, that is nine weeks."
In the last two years, 3,32,000 medical abortions were carried out, which shows that if given a choice, women want to limit their families.
"This is very important as around eight percent of maternal deaths take place due to unsafe abortions," he said.
FOGSI is promoting medical abortions along with Interuterine Medical Devices (IUD) to help people plan their families.
Hema Diwakar, president of FOGSI, said that women are now given a choice of post-placental IUD as soon as they give birth.
The family planning initiative taken up by the FOGSI and the Population Services International (PSI) is called 'Pehel'. It is run mostly in urban slums.
It covers 30 districts in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi. Ten additional districts in these three states would be covered in the next phase.
"Pehel Phase 3 will continue to complement the government's efforts to reduce maternal mortality and increase the contraceptive prevalence rate," said Pritpal Marjara, director of PSI.
According to government data, every year about 78,000 women die during pregnancy, child birth or within 43 days of delivery in India.