Poverty Or Social Stigma Do Not Justify Medical Termination of Pregnancy by Breaching Statutory Provisions: Kerala HC

A single-judge bench of the Kerala Excessive Court docket comprising Justice VG Arun has denied termination of being pregnant to a 21-year-old whereas observing that financial backwardness or the potential for social stigma can’t compel the courtroom to transgress the statutory provisions and grant permission for medical termination of being pregnant.

The petitioner was an single lady who had crossed the gestation interval of 28 weeks. She was in love with an individual named Sanjay and was in a live-in relationship with him since 17.11.2021.

The girl admitted that the being pregnant was from a consensual relationship with Sanjay and she or he had intercourse with him after he had promised that he would convert to Islam and marry her. Nevertheless, Sanjay refused to marry her except his demand for dowry was met. The girl had additionally alleged that her accomplice used to assault her in an inebriated state and she or he was lastly pushed out of his home on 27.09.2022.

The girl underwent radio dialysis and discovered that the gestational age of the foetus was 18 weeks in August 2022. She had submitted earlier than the courtroom that her household is economically backward and the delivery of a kid previous to her marriage would adversely have an effect on her future in addition to the dignity of the household.

The courtroom directed the superintendent, SAT Hospital, Thiruvananthapuram, to represent a medical board for analyzing the petitioner and to make accessible its opinion.

The medical board submitted a report earlier than the excessive courtroom, stating that the lady was taking excellent care of the kid throughout her being pregnant and the psychological examination revealed that she is of sound well being each mentally and bodily. The report additionally acknowledged that the ultrasound findings present that there are not any foetal or maternal problems. The medical board was of the opinion that the medical termination shouldn’t be carried out contemplating the danger to the child.

The HC in its order mentioned that the apex courtroom has declared a lady’s proper to make a reproductive option to be a dimension of her private liberty. Nevertheless, the query earlier than the courtroom is whether or not such liberty can transgress the restrictions/prohibitions below the Medical Termination of Being pregnant Act in instances the place neither the pregnant woman nor the foetus has any medical points and the being pregnant was being taken excellent care of by the potential mom, till she approached this courtroom.

The excessive courtroom after referring to the 2021 modification to the Medical Termination of Being pregnant Act famous: “Thus, after the modification, medical termination is just not permissible when the being pregnant exceeds 24 weeks. As per Part 3(2B), the supply referring to the size of being pregnant won’t apply when the termination is necessitated by the analysis of any of the substantial foetal abnormalities by a Medical Board. So far as the moment case is anxious, the Medical Board has categorically opined that the being pregnant is of 28 weeks length with no foetal or maternal problems.”

The courtroom in its order acknowledged that financial backwardness and social stigma can’t enable it to transgress the provisions of the Act. It mentioned, “Within the absence of any medical causes referable to the petitioner or the foetus, financial backwardness or chance of social stigma can’t compel this Court docket to transgress the statutory prohibition and grant permission for medical termination of being pregnant.”

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