In the aftermath of the US Supreme Court nullifying women’s right to abortions by overturning the landmark Roe Vs Wade case, let’s look at 5 times India’s judiciary protected women’s ability to choose:
1. April 2020:
A 14-year-old rape survivor who was 24 weeks pregnant was allowed to abort by the Kerala High Court. The Division Bench clearly expressed that Article 21 of the Indian Constitution provided for the right to make reproductive choices as part of personal liberty. The choice was hers whether she wanted to follow through with the pregnancy or not.
2. February 2022:
The Kolkata High Court allowed a pregnant woman to abort a 35-week-old foetus. The permission was granted since the child, if born, would be affected by a spine condition majorly impacting the child’s survivability and quality of life.
The Court thus allowed her to medically terminate the pregnancy at an authorised medical institution.
3. December 2021:
A rape survivor was permitted by Karnataka HC to terminate her pregnancy of over 24 weeks. The survivor, who was a minor when the crime was committed, was allowed to abort upon taking several factors into consideration such as her being raised by a single mother while she was still a student at the time.
4. February 2022:
Uttarakhand HC upheld the right to abort for a 16-year-old rape survivor. Although the Medical Board expressed concerns over aborting a 28-week-old foetus as the procedure could possibly take her life, the single-judge bench held that, “Right to life means something more than survival or animal existence. It would include the right to live with human dignity.”
5. March 2022:
The Kerala HC allowed a 31-week termination for a 10-year-old girl who was allegedly raped by her own father. The petition was moved by the girl’s mother.
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