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Women can opt for an abortion without the husband’s consent: SC

The Supreme Court rules abortion an exclusive women's right

Women can opt for an abortion without the husband’s consent: SC
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The Supreme Court stated that abortion is an exclusive right for women. This order was passed while rejecting a man’s petition who asked for damages from his estranged wife for going ahead with abortion without his consent. The man had come to appeal to the SC after his plea before Punjab and Haryana High Court was dismissed.


The High Court had said," keeping in view the strained relationship between the husband and wife, the decision to terminated the unwanted fetus was right. The termination of pregnancy had not soured the relationship between the two. Keeping in mind the legal position, it is held that no express or implied consent of the husband is required in getting the pregnancy terminated under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act." She is a mother and an adult. How can she or others be made liable for it? Even a mentally challenged woman has the right to terminate her pregnancy, the Bench headed by Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra said.


What is the case?

In 1994, the couple got married and in 1995 had a son. In 1999, due to a difference of opinion, the wife and son started staying with her parents in Chandigarh. The Lok Adalat in Chandigarh mediated and persuaded the couple to live together in the husband’s house in Panipat.

From November 2002, they started living together and in January 2003 the wife discovered that she was pregnant. But, as the relationship was showing no signs of improvement, the woman decided to terminate the "unwanted" pregnancy. However, her husband was not ready for the same.

Meanwhile, she got in touch with her parents, who took her to Chandigarh. Though the husband was not ready to sign the hospital papers for medical termination of pregnancy, the woman went ahead with the same at the Chandigarh hospital.

Following to which, the man filed a lawsuit demanding damages of INR 30 lakh. The High Court dismissed the suit saying that the woman had consented to matrimonial sex and not to conceive a child.

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