What are the rights of a pregnant woman in India?

  • Related to termination of pregnancy

A woman can terminate her pregnancy at the discretion of a medical provider upto 20 weeks of gestation period, under certain conditions –

  1. When continuation of pregnancy is a risk to the life of a pregnant woman or could cause grave injury to her physical or mental health.
  2. When there is substantial risk that the child, if born, would be seriously handicapped due to physical or mental condition.
  3. When pregnancy is caused due to rape.
  4. When pregnancy is caused due to failure of contraceptives used by a married woman.

Related to maternity benefits:

  1. Woman is entitled to get paid maternity leave from 12-26 weeks and she can also take pre-delivery leave. If the woman has more than two surviving children, the maternity benefits is 12 weeks only.
  2. There is a provision of creches in the any organization who has 50 or more employees working under them. Women are entitled to visit the creches up to 4 times a day.
  3. All the cost of paid maternity leave and creches should be managed by the employer alone.
  4. It is compulsory to the employers to educate women about their maternity leave at the time of appointment.
  5. Women undergoing a tubectomy (a medical procedure to stop future pregnancies) also get a paid leave of 2 weeks following the operation.
  6. In case of termination of pregnancy or miscarriage, the law permits women six weeks leave after the procedure.
  7. An employer cannot dismiss a woman for taking maternity leave and cannot serve a termination notice to a woman on maternity leave which expires before the maternity leave ends.

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