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Supreme Court to hear the matter on unwanted pregnancy been excluded from Rule 3B of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Rules

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The Supreme Court said it will hear the issue as to why and how an unmarried girl who suffers unwanted pregnancy has been excluded from Rule 3B of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Rules, 2003 on August 10.

The bench of Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice JB Pardiwala said that the “Legislature is obviously concerned with pregnancy which is not within marriage. If an unmarried major girl is in danger as much as a married woman, why exclude the unmarried woman?”

These observations came in wake of a plea that was filed by a 24 week pregnant unmarried woman seeking direction to abort her pregnancy.

The Supreme Court had allowed the termination of the pregnancy subject to the clearance by medical expert while keeping the aspect of including unmarried women within the ambit of Rule 3B of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Rules 2003 (as amended on 21.10.2021) for termination of pregnancy, open.

Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati on said this was not about married or unmarried but because of woman’s health”.

Justice Chandrachud referred to a case wherein the abortion was allowed post 20 weeks, saying that, abortion was done upon considering the risk factor.

The woman, who is a permanent resident of Manipur submitted  that she was in a consensual relationship,and came to know of her pregnancy while she was 22 weeks and  decided to terminate it.

It may be noted that the Delhi High Court had dismissed the woman’s petition, which she challenged in the Top Court.

Before the Delhi High Court, the woman had moved a writ petition seeking direction to terminate the ongoing pregnancy on July 15, 2022, however, A division bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad refused to allow her plea. When she had moved a writ petition seeking directions for termination of pregnancy.

The high court in its order said “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.

 The  High Court had issued notice on the aspect of including unmarried women within the ambit of Rule 3B of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Rules 2003 (as amended on 21.10.2021) for termination of pregnancy.

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