Taking a step towards justice and freedom Bombay High Court extended the provisions of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, accounting for the effect of unwanted pregnancies on the mental health of a woman. The court said that a woman should be "allowed to opt out of an unwanted pregnancy irrespective of the reason.”
A division bench of Justices VK Tahilramani and Mridula Bhatkar said the benefits of act must not only be extended to married women but also to those who are in live-in-relationship.
The court made the observation while taking suo motu (on its own) cognizance of a news report about pregnant women prisoners who were not taken to hospitals, despite informing the jail authorities of their wish to terminate pregnancy.
"This right emerges from her right to live with dignity as a human being in society and protected as a fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution," the judges said.
"Not allowing a woman to terminate her pregnancy amounts to grave injury to her mental health," they added.
"The right to control their own body and fertility and motherhood choices should be left to the women alone. Let us not lose sight of the basic right of women: the right to autonomy and decide what to do with their own bodies, including whether or not to get pregnant and stay pregnant.”
Information source: economictimes
Title image: fastcompany
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