Supreme Court: “Women have the Sacrosanct Right to Bodily Integrity” on Abortion at 24 weeks.

On Thursday 21st of July 2022, the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India passed an ad-interim order which allows an unmarried woman to abort her pregnancy of 24-weeks arising out of Live-in relationship, after the consultation by the Medical Board which constituted AIIMS Delhi, where after examination it was stated that the pregnancy in this case can be aborted without risking any life threatening component.

A Bench headed by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud was hearing the appeal of a woman who wanted to abort her pregnancy after her relationship with her partner had failed and left her.

The Medical termination Act, 1971 was amended in 2021, which brought up changes in the abortion periods for only certain categories of woman. This categorization of women under Section 3(2)(d) MTP Act, is currently under challenge. This list is limited to – minors, rape victims, divorced or widowed women, physically disabled women and mentally challenged women and in case of foetal anomalies excluding all other women.

SC observed that the lower court has taken an “unduly restrictive view” for terminating her plea to abort safely and concluding that the abortion was not covered under MTP Act as the pregnancy arose from live-in relationship.

The Court further issued notice to the Union Government and sought the assistance of Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati on the legislative interpretation.


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