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Delhi HC permits woman to terminate 23-week pregnancy after deciding to divorce husband

Delhi HC permits woman to terminate 23-week pregnancy after deciding to divorce husband

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Thursday approved a 31-year-old woman’s plea seeking to terminate her 23-week pregnancy after deciding to divorce her husband, citing the potential for material changes when a woman separates from her partner, which may affect her ability to raise a child.

Justice Subramonium Prasad passed the order noting the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) medical board report stating that the foetus was normal and it was safe to take the step.

The woman got married in June and found that she was carrying a single intrauterine pregnancy after a month.

On Monday, the judge had directed the AIIMS to establish a medical board to assess the woman's request, stressing the necessity for an evaluation by a Medical Board to determine whether it was safe for the woman to undergo pregnancy termination by a registered medical practitioner.

Besides directing AIIMS, the court had directed the woman's husband to be included as a party to the case and issued a notice to him.

The woman alleged that she had been subjected to verbal, physical, mental, and emotional abuse by her husband since the early stages of their marriage. She reported two instances of physical assault, the first in July and the second in August when she was three months pregnant.

Since August, she has been residing in her parental home and has expressed a desire to terminate her pregnancy.

While the court granted relief to the woman, it noted that she had not filed a police report against her husband for the alleged physical abuse, nor had she initiated a petition for divorce or judicial separation.

However, the court referred to a Supreme Court decision that affirms a woman's prerogative to assess her life and choose the best course of action, particularly in the context of changing circumstances.

The court also referenced domestic violence cases under Rule 3B(c) of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Rules, which allows a woman to terminate her pregnancy up to 24 weeks due to a change in marital status.

With inputs from IANS

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TAGS:Delhi HCAbortion rightsPregnancy TerminationIndia NewsMTP
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