New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to consider listing an unmarried woman’s plea, who challenged the Delhi High Court order declining to grant permission to her to abort the 23-week foetus.
A lawyer, representing the woman, mentioned the matter before a bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana and sought an urgent hearing in the matter.
The bench, also comprising Justice Krishna Murari and Justice Hima Kohli, said “Just now we have been given papers. Let us see”.
On July 16, the Delhi High Court, while refusing to entertain a plea seeking termination of a 23-week pregnancy, observed that the petitioner, a 25-year-old unmarried woman, 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. The woman stated in her plea that she cannot give birth to the child as she is an unmarried woman and her partner has refused to marry her.
It further stated that giving birth out of wedlock will entail in her ostracisation and cause her mental agony. As she is solely a B.A. graduate who is non-working, she will not be able to raise and handle the child, the woman submitted in her petition, stating that she is not mentally prepared to be a mother and continuing with the pregnancy will lead to grave physical and mental injury for her.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad said: “A perusal of Section 3(2) (a) of the Act provides that the Medical Practitioner can terminate the pregnancy, provided, the pregnancy does not exceed 20 weeks. Section 3(2) (b) of the Act provides for termination in circumstances where the pregnancy exceeds 20 weeks but does not exceed 24 weeks.”