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The Bombay High Court on Tuesday refused to entertain the petition of a 22-week pregnant woman from Mumbai who sought to terminate her ‘unwanted’ pregnancy on the grounds of domestic violence.
The 20-year-old woman had married before 18, when she was allowed to continue her education by her husband and in-laws. However, she was subjected to domestic violence soon after her marriage, her lawyer said.
The woman’s lawyer further said that she learned about her pregnancy during an ultrasound suggested by a neurologist whom she was consulting for her epilepsy treatment.
“Her husband refused to use protection and she could not take oral contraceptives as it would have interfered with her antiepileptic drugs”, said her lawyer.
The lawyer then said that though the woman found out about her pregnancy during the 17th week, her husband did not permit her to terminate the pregnancy.
“She has come back to her maternal household, but has crossed the deadline,” the lawyer said.
The HC judges said that the case does not come under the exemptions of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act.
While the Act allows for abortion up to 20 weeks, it can permit termination beyond that only in cases of fetal abnormality or if it endangers physical or mental health of the mother.
However, noting that the foetus has no ‘deformity’, the judges declined the petitioner’s pregnancy termination plea.
They petitioner will now file a petition in the higher court.
Tagged: Bombay HC
Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act
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