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Unmarried women pregnant from consensual sex cannot terminate pregnancy older than 20 weeks
Ms X Vs Health and Family Welfare Department GNCTD
About/from the judgment:
The High Court refused to allow a 25-year-old unmarried woman to terminate her pregnancy of 23 weeks.
The Court refused the relief holding that an unmarried woman who is carrying a child out of a consensual sexual relationship is not permitted to terminate pregnancy older than 20 weeks as per the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Rules, 2003 (MTP Rules)
"The Petitioner, who is an unmarried woman and whose pregnancy arises out of a consensual relationship, is clearly not covered by any of the clauses under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Rules, 2003. Therefore, Section 3(2)(b) of the Act is not applicable to the facts of this case," the Court said in its order.
It added that, as of today, Rule 3B of the MTP Rules stands and does not allow termination of pregnancy of an unmarried woman beyond 20 weeks and therefore, the Court cannot go beyond the statute.
"As of today, Rule 3B of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Rules, 2003, stands, and this Court, while exercising its power under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, 1950, cannot go beyond the statute. Granting interim relief now would amount to allowing the writ petition itself," it said.
However, the Court kept the petition pending and issued notice to Delhi's Health and Family Welfare Department directing it to file its response on the petition by August 26.
The Court said that notice is only limited to the prayer in the petition that seeks to include unmarried woman within the ambit of the Rule 3B of the MTP Rules.
As per the Rules, only victims of rape, minors, women whose marital status changed during pregnancy, mentally-ill women, or women with foetal malformation are allowed to terminate pregnancy upto 24 weeks.
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