India's top court gives all women the right to abortion | Inquirer News

India’s top court gives all women the right to abortion

/ 05:04 PM September 29, 2022
India's top court

 Television journalists are seen outside the premises of the Supreme Court in New Delhi, India, January 22, 2020. REUTERS FILE PHOTO

NEW DELHI — India’s Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that a woman’s lack of marital status could not deny her the choice to abort a pregnancy at any time up to 24 weeks, a decision hailed by women’s rights activists.

The right to abortion has proved contentious globally after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned in June its landmark decision in Roe v. Wade that had legalized the procedure in the United States.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Even an unmarried woman can undergo abortion up to 24 weeks on par with married women,” said Justice D.Y. Chandrachud of India’s Supreme Court, holding that lack of marital status could not deprive a woman of the right.

A law dating from 1971, the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, had limited the procedure to married women, divorcees, widows, minors, “disabled and mentally ill women” and survivors of sexual assault or rape.

FEATURED STORIES

Thursday’s decision came in response to a petition by a woman who said her pregnancy resulted from a consensual relationship but she had sought abortion when it failed.

The ruling is a milestone for the rights of Indian women, activists said.

“A huge step forward,” lawmaker Mahua Moitra said on Twitter.

The court added that sexual assault by husbands can be classified as marital rape under the MTP law. Indian law does not consider marital rape an offense, though efforts are being made to change this.

“In an era that includes Dobbs vs Jackson, and makes distinctions between the marital status of women who are raped – this excellent judgment on abortion under the MTP Act hits it out of the park,” Karuna Nundy, an advocate specializing in gender law and other areas, said on Twitter.

She was referring to the case that led to the U.S. judgment.

RELATED STORIES

ADVERTISEMENT

Is there any such thing as ‘safe’ abortion?

Millions of girls lost to selective abortion in India: study

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Abortion, India, Justice
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.



© Copyright 1997-2022 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.