Extending the choice of willful abortion to couples in live-in relationships, the Bombay High Court amended the 45-year-old provision.
The provision under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act , earlier allowed only married women to opt for an abortion in case of an unwanted pregnancy. However, the High Court has now extended the provision to couples in pre-marital relationships, in which they live like a husband and wife while choosing not to tie the knot. Until now, the provision permitted married women to terminate the pregnancy within 20 weeks, in which they conceived despite using contraceptives.
The judgement in response to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) that was submitted by a woman prisoner, who wanted to terminate her second pregnancy as she was in custody.
The bench of Justices VK Tahilramani and Mridula Bhatkar observed that section 3(2)(b)(i) of the MTP act allows medical termination of pregnancy where life risk is involved. The bench further observed that unwanted pregnancy may cause physical injury and injury to mental health also.
The judgement comes in as recognition of rising number of couples who are in live-in relationships though not married.