Abortion law: Supreme Court to hear decriminalisation plea

The Supreme Court on Monday issued a notice to the Centre while agreeing to hear a PIL by three women seeking directions to decriminalise abortion to allow women to have a choice in reproduction. 

Published: 16th July 2019 02:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th July 2019 09:52 AM   |  A+A-

Supreme Court

Supreme Court (Photo| Shekhar Yadav, EPS)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  The Supreme Court on Monday issued a notice to the Centre while agreeing to hear a PIL by three women seeking directions to decriminalise abortion to allow women to have a choice in reproduction. 

A bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi sought the Centre’s response on the PIL which sought that provisions like sections 3(2) (a) and 3(2) (b) of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, be declared as void and unconstitutional as they violate their fundamental rights. 

The plea stated that the provision of the MTP Act mandated that the opinion of a registered medical practitioner to terminate pregnancy would be needed and the abortion after 20 weeks can only be allowed on the ground of risk to life of a pregnant woman and it violated the women’s right to health, reproductive choice and privacy.

“The provision under section 3 (2) (a) of the MTP Act imposed severe restriction on the exercise of the reproductive choice of the woman by providing for a precondition of an opinion by the medical practitioner about there being a risk to the life of the lady or of grave physical or mental injury or risk of serious foetal abnormalities if the pregnancy is continued.”

The plea also sought direction to declare section 3(2)(b), which restricted termination of pregnancy not exceeding 20 weeks on the ground of risk to the life of the woman or the child when born, as unconstitutional.

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