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A Supreme Court bench led by Justice DY Chandrachud, AS Bopanna, and JB Pardiwala on Thursday stated that ‘marital rape’ must be included in the definition of rape when it comes to the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act and Rules.
The court made these comments in regards to unmarried women coming under the umbrella of the MTP Act and are eligible to terminate their pregnancy under Rule 3B(a) of the act “beyond 20 weeks and up to 24 weeks”.
Regarding that judgement the court said that “If Rule 3B(c) is understood as only for married women, it would perpetuate the stereotype that only married women indulge in sexual activities. This is not constitutionally sustainable. The artificial distinction between married and unmarried women cannot be sustained. Women must have autonomy to have free exercise of these rights.”
Justice DY Chandrachud then spoke on the rights of married women to abort a fetus saying “Married women may also form the part of the class of survivors of sexual assault or rape. The ordinary meaning of the word rape is sexual intercourse with a person without consent or against their will. Regardless of whether such forced intercourse occurs in the context of matrimony, a woman may become pregnant as a result of non-consensual sexual intercourse performed upon her by her husband.”
He further added that “We would be remiss in not recognising that intimate partner violence is the reality and can take the form of rape. The misconception that strangers are exclusively or almost exclusively responsible for sex and gender based violence is a deeply regrettable one. Sex and gender based violence in all its form in the context of family has long formed a part of the lived experiences of women.”
As per LiveLaw, the bench also said “The meaning of rape must therefore be understood as including marital rape solely for the purpose of the MTP Act and any other rules and regulations framed thereunder. Any other interpretation would have the effect of compelling a woman to give birth to and raise a child with a partner who inflicts mental and physical harm upon her.”
“It is not inconceivable that married women become pregnant as a result of their husbands having “raped” them. The nature of sexual violence and the contours of consent do not undergo a transformation when one decides to marry. The institution of marriage does not influence the answer to the question of whether a woman has consented to sexual relations. If the woman is in an abusive relationship, she may face great difficulty in accessing medical resources or consulting doctors.”
According to reports, the court also stated that “…there is no requirement that the instance may be registered or the allegation of rape may be proved before a court of law or some other forum before it can be construed true for the purpose of the MTP Act. Such a requirement would be in conflict with the purpose of the MTP Act.”
This is how some men on the internet were reacting to this news, entirely misinterpreting the ruling and what it meant.
Honestly, if taking this thinking, then literally every single law and rule is misused to come extent by certain people or groups anyway for their own benefit. There is perhaps not really that many laws that have not been misused in some way or another. So should we just remove all laws and rules?
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This post is tagged under: Marital Rape abortion, Supreme Court, Supreme Court marital rape, Supreme Court abortion, abortion, abortion india, abortion marital rape, mtp act, mtp act india
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