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Denying Unmarried Woman Right to Safe Abortion Violates Her Personal Autonomy & Freedom: Supreme Court

[21 July 2022] “Denying an unmarried woman, the right to a safe abortion violates her personal autonomy and freedom”, observed the Supreme Court on Thursday while allowing an unmarried woman to seek abortion of her pregnancy of a term of 24 weeks which arose out of a consensual relationship.

Passing an ad-interim order to grant relief to the 25-year-old woman, the Supreme Court prima facie observed that her case was covered under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act 1971. The Delhi High Court, before which the petitioner had first approached, had denied her interim relief on the ground that the pregnancy of an unmarried woman arising out of a consensual relationship is not specified among the categories of women whose pregnancy can be aborted during the term of 20-24 weeks as per the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Rules 2003.

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