An unmarried woman in Bombay is permitted to end her 22-week pregnancy due to mental health.


An unmarried woman in Bombay is permitted to end her 22-week pregnancy due to mental health.


A 26-year-old single woman was given permission by the Bombay High Court on Tuesday to end her 22-week pregnancy.

The petitioner had informed the HC that she was a working woman who had an unplanned pregnancy as a result of the failure of contraception devices in a consenting relationship. She maintained that it would impact her mental health if she continued the pregnancy.

According to a medical board that the court had established, the woman became pregnant as a result of a consensual sexual connection, and continuing that relationship could seriously harm the woman's mental health.

The petitioner's attorney, Aditi Saxena, told the judges Sanjay V. Gangapurwala and Madhav J. Jamdar that her client would find it very challenging to carry the pregnancy to the term given the stigma associated with being an unwed mother. It will be quite upsetting to the mind. She is not financially stable and will not be able to rely on her family for help, Saxena continued.

The woman was to be examined and her mental state evaluated by a medical board that had been established by the dean of the state-run J J hospital after the HC referred the matter to it on August 12.

The HC permitted the woman to end the pregnancy at a facility that has received official recognition, citing earlier Supreme Court and HC rulings as well as the recommendation of the medical board.

It also sent a notice to the authorities requesting a response to the woman's complaint regarding the constitutionality of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act Section 3(2)(b), which limits the termination of pregnancies to 20 weeks or less on the grounds of risk to the life of the mother or the unborn child.

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