A division bench of Justices V.K. Tahilramani and Mridula Bhatkar on Monday said that a women has the right to “lead a life of her choice”, and held that the scope of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act should extend to the “mental health” and she should be “allowed to opt out of an unwanted pregnancy irrespective of the reason”.
It was a judgment of utmost importance for women all over the country as the court clearly stated that the judgment shall not only be applied to married couples but also on women who “stay with their partners as married couples in live-in relationships,” Times of India reports.
The bench was pretty stern on its judgment and later stated to the media that “Pregnancy takes place within the body of a woman and has a profound impact on her health, mental well-being and life. Thus, how she wants to deal with this pregnancy must be a decision she, and she alone, can make,” the bench said, as reported by TOI.
“The right to control their own body and fertility and motherhood choices should be left to the women alone. Let us not lose sight of the basic right of women: the right to autonomy and decide what to do with their own bodies, including whether or not to get pregnant and stay pregnant,” was a further addition the bench made.
This observation by the High Court comes after news reports came out wherein prisoners who were pregnant and who wished to end their pregnancy were not taken to hospitals by the jail authorities.
The reiterating of the fact that the woman alone has the right to terminate her pregnancy is a welcome move. After all, we and only we can make decisions regarding our bodies, right?