The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to examine the constitutional validity of certain legal provisions that allow abortion only to save the woman’s life or in case of the abnormal fetus and allegedly violate women’s right to health, “free reproductive choice” and “privacy”.
The apex court sought response of the Central government on a PIL of three women who have sought that provisions like sections 3(2) (a) and 3(2) (b) of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, be declared as “void and unconstitutional” as they were violative of their fundamental rights.
“Issue notice,” said a bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Deepak Gupta.
The plea, filed by Swati Agarwal, Garima Sekseria, Prachi Vats, said a provision of the MTP Act mandated that the opinion of a registered medical practitioner to terminate pregnancy would be needed and the abortion after 20 weeks can only be allowed on the ground of risk to life of a pregnant woman and it violated the women’s right to health, reproductive choice, and privacy.
“The provision imposed a severe restriction on the exercise of the reproductive choice of the woman by providing for a precondition of an opinion by the medical practitioner about there being a risk to the life of the lady or of grave physical or mental injury or risk of serious fetal abnormalities if the pregnancy is continued.