Denying the unmarried woman the right to a safe abortion violates her freedom and it is a part of personal liberty, said Bench while hearing an unmarried woman’s plea.
A Bench led by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, Surya Kant, and A.S. Bopanna has heard the appeal of a woman who wanted to abort after her relationship failed and her partner left her.
While allowing an unmarried woman to seek abortion of her pregnancy of a term of 24 weeks which arose out of a consensual relationship.
Chastising the lower court, the Bench said live-in relationships had already been recognized by the Supreme Court.
There were a significant number of people in the social mainstream who see no wrong in engaging in pre-marital sex. The law could not be used to quench "notions of social morality" and unduly interfere with their personal autonomy and bodily integrity.
The court also noted that an amendment to the Act in 2021 had substituted the term ‘husband’ with ‘‘partner’ which is a clear signal that the law covered unmarried women within its ambit.
And forcing a woman to continue with her pregnancy would not only be a violation of her bodily integrity but also aggravate her mental trauma.
The court ordered a medical board to be formed by the AIIMS to check whether it was safe to conduct an abortion on the woman and submit a report in a week.
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