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No Fear No Favour

Abort, sole prerogative of wife, need no husband’s consent: SC

The Supreme Court had ruled saying a woman, the lone decision maker of abortion. Giving birth or terminate a pregnancy does not need husband’s consent.

The apex court judgment comes dismissing a man’s petition seeking damages from his wife who underwent an abortion. His narration revealed that his estranged wife aborted without a prior consent of his.The judgment reads, “Woman has an unimpeachable right to give birth or terminate the pregnancy.”

The man has appealed to the SC after his plea has got rejected before the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

“In view of the strained relationship between the husband and wife, the decision to terminate the unwanted fetus was precise,” appreciates the High Court.

According to the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act,“No express or implied consent of the husband is needed in getting the pregnancy terminated.”

The Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra headed bench said, “She is a mother and an adult. How can she be made liable for it? Even a mentally retarded woman has the right to terminate her pregnancy.”

The marriage history also revealed that the couple had a past sour relationship with no clear sign of improvement. Due to discord, the wife and their first son had been staying with her parents in Chandigarh since 1999 which made her terminating the “unwanted” pregnancy.

Objecting the wife’s decision, the husband declined to sign the hospital papers for medical termination of pregnancy. The woman went ahead with the abortion at a Chandigarh hospital.
Following which the man filed a suit seeking damages of Rs 30 lakh. The suit was however dismissed.

Consented to matrimonial sex does not mean consent to child conceive and giving birth to a child is a sole women’s decision, ruled the High Court.

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