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Supreme Court Allows Termination Of Women’s Pregnancy At 24 Weeks

Women have the right to safe abortion, said the Supreme court while hearing the appeal of a woman who wished to terminate her pregnancy after her partner refused to marry her and left her. Read on to find out more about the trending news.

Women’s Right To Safe Abortion

Supreme Court Allows  Abortion Of Women's Pregnancy At 24 Weeks

While hearing the plea of the women about termination of 24-week pregnancy, the supreme court emphasized the right to safe abortion for women. The Court expanded the scope of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act to include “unmarried woman” on Thursday. A Bench led by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud was hearing the appeal. Earlier, the lower court had stated that her appeal for abortion was not covered under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act as the pregnancy was a result of a consensual relationship outside wedlock.

About Personal Liberty of Women

Opposing the views of the lower court, the bench stated that live-in relationships are recognized by the supreme court and a larger number of people in the social structure accept premarital sexual relationships. The law could not be used to quench “notions of social morality” and unduly interfere in their autonomy and bodily integrity, the court stated. The bench also observed that the 25-year-old petitioner comes from an agriculturist background and is the eldest among her five siblings. The woman holds a BA degree and lacks the resources needed to raise a child on her own.

Amid 2021 Amendment 

“We request the AIIMS director to constitute a medical board in terms of provisions of section 3(2)(d) MTP Act by tomorrow (Friday). In the event the medical board concludes that the fetus can be aborted without any danger to the life of the petitioner (woman), the AIIMS shall carry out the abortion in terms of the petition…”, the bench said. The bench said that an amendment to the Act in 2021 had substituted the term ‘husband’ with ‘partner’, and this should be made clear that unmarried women can also get benefited from this law.

What High Court had Said about Abortion

The high court had denied the permission to abort saying that it virtually amounts to killing the fetus.” The petitioner, who is an unmarried woman and whose pregnancy arises out of a consensual relationship, is clearly not covered by any of the clauses under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Rules, 2003,” the High court had said on July 15.”As of today, Rule 3B of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Rules, 2003 (which excludes unmarried women) stands, and this court, while exercising its power under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, 1950, cannot go beyond the statute,” it had said .”We will ensure that the girl is kept somewhere safe and she can deliver and go. There is a big queue for adoption,” the court has also added.

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The woman in her appeal had stated that she was not mentally and emotionally ready to be a mother and having a child out of wedlock could also cause her psychological agony and social stigma.

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Anu Kumari

An avid reader who embraces imperfections and loves story-telling.

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