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All women entitled to safe, legal abortion: Supreme Court

First Published: 29th September, 2022 18:43 IST

The Supreme Court today held that all women, irrespective of their marital status, are entitled to safe and legal abortion.

In a landmark judgment, the Supreme Court of India said that all women irrespective of their marital status are entitled to get a safe and legal abortion.

The Supreme Court today held that all women, irrespective of their marital status, are entitled to safe and legal abortion till 24 weeks of pregnancy under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy or MTP Act.

A bench of Justices, DY Chandrachud, JB Pardiwala, and AS Bopanna delivered the verdict on the interpretation of the MTP Act, and whether unmarried or single women can be allowed like their married counterparts the benefit of abortion up to 24 weeks.

The apex court has also ruled that the exclusion of unmarried women who conceive out of a live-in relationship from the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Rules is unconstitutional.

The SC has declared that unmarried women are also entitled to seek abortion of pregnancy in the term of 20-24 weeks arising out of a consensual relationship.

SC said that the meaning of rape must be held, including marital rape, for purpose of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act.

Further, the SC said that the distinction between married & unmarried women is artificial and constitutionally unsustainable as it perpetuates the stereotype that only married women indulge in sexual activities.

The Bench hearing the case was informed that September 29 is Safe Abortion Day.

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