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All women, married or unmarried, have right to safe abortion under law, says SC

All women, married or unmarried, have right to safe abortion under law, says SC

New Delhi, Sep 29, 2022: The Supreme Court on Thursday said all women are entitled to choose abortion while pronouncing the judgement in the medical termination of pregnancy (MTP) case.



"Unmarried women have the right to get an abortion under the MTP Act. No distinction is made between married and unmarried women under abortion law in India," the court said.

"For purposes of abortion, rape will include marital rape," the top court said.

"Prohibiting single or unmarried pregnant women with pregnancy between 20-24 weeks from accessing abortion while allowing married women would fall foul of spirit guiding Article 14," the court said in its ruling.

The court in its judgement said, "Law in modern times is shedding the notion that marriage is a precondition for the rights of persons. The MTP act must consider the realities of today and must not be restricted by old norms. The law must not remain static and must keep in mind changing social realities."

Expressing concerns over unsafe abortions, the apex court said, "Unsafe abortions continue to be the third leading cause of maternal mortality. 60% of abortions carried out in India are unsafe. By denying access to safe abortion services, restrictive abortion practices lead to unsafe abortions."

"Married women may also form part of the class of survivors of sexual assault or rape. A woman may become pregnant as a result of non-consensual sex with her husband," the court added.

There is no need to register an FIR for rape for abortion to be allowed if a woman has claimed rape, even by a married partner," the court said.

Courtesy: India Today

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