Table 6

Policy data

Author(s)Study locationPolicy data about antenatal screening and/or termination legislation
Oloyede and Oyedele107NigeriaIn Nigeria, the two existing pregnancy termination laws are restrictive in nature. However, termination is often done when a fetus is malformed on the grounds of preserving the mental health of the women.
Acharya et al108IndiaIndia has no definite policy for the ultrasound screening for fetal abnormalities and antenatal diagnostic techniques. The law in India says that those who meet the criteria of the PCPNDT Act can perform an ultrasound scan and they must be sufficiently trained and registered with the proper authority.
Neogi109IndiaAbortion was legalised in India in 1971 under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act. It permits abortion by 1 doctor before 12 weeks of gestation but if the duration of pregnancy is more than 12 weeks but less than 20 weeks, then the opinion of 2 medical practitioners is necessary to terminate the pregnancy.
Phadke et al110IndiaIn India, the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act of 1971 (The MTP Act, No. 34 of 1971) does not allow pregnancy termination on grounds of fetal abnormality after 20 weeks of gestation.
Ranji and Dykes111IranAccording to the regulations of the Iranian Ministry of Health, ultrasound examinations during pregnancy must be carried out by radiologists.
Arawi and Nassar112LebanonLebanese law stipulates that pregnancy termination is forbidden except when the pregnancy endangers the health of the mother and only after consulting with two physicians.
Senanayake and de Silva113Sri LankaIn Sri Lanka, it is illegal to terminate a pregnancy even in cases of early diagnosis (11–14 weeks of gestation).
Hostiuc et al114RomaniaAccording to Romanian law, abortion over 14 weeks is only allowed in cases of severe congenital defects and pregnancies that threaten the life of the mother.
Oztarhan et al104TurkeyTurkish law authorises pregnancy termination voluntarily until 10 weeks in unwanted pregnancies and at any gestational age for medical indications that are considered potentially life threatening to the mother or fetus. The legal process requires one obstetrician and one physician to agree that pregnancy termination is valid for a medical reason.
North America
Lisker et al115MexicoPregnancy termination is illegal in most Mexican States, except in the case of rape or if the mother’s life is at risk by the continuation of pregnancy. In Mexico City and 12 of the 31 states, the presence of a severe congenital anomalies has become a justification for the legal termination of pregnancy.
South America
Groisman et al116ArgentinaAccording to the Argentinian criminal code, termination of pregnancy is illegal unless the pregnancy is threat to woman's life or pregnancy is consequence of rape of a mentally retarded woman. In the city of Buenos Aires, it is legal to induce labour after 24 weeks of gestational age in case of anencephaly and other lethal conditions.
Benute et al117BrazilBrazilian law does not include lethal fetal malformation as an indication for pregnancy termination; however, many couples ask a court for permission to terminate a pregnancy on the grounds that it is the option which creates less suffering.
Mirlesse and Ville118BrazilUltrasound is not explicitly recommended by Brazilian authorities. Brazilian legislation considers termination of pregnancy to be a crime (except in cases of rape or pregnancies which risk the mother’s life). However, for lethal fetal malformations, it is possible to apply to the courts for an exceptional authorisation to abort. These requests require a medical referral centre to perform an ultrasound and prepare a very detailed file.
  • PCPNDT, Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act.