Big Win : Abortion Rights For Single Women Upheld By India’s Highest Court

Big win for abortion rights in India
Women in India entitled to seek abortion until 24 weeks of pregnancy. 
India’s Supreme Court ruled ,on Thursday (28th September 2022), that all women, regardless of marital status, can obtain abortions up to 24 weeks into their pregnancies. Under India’s abortion law, married women could have abortions up to 24 weeks into their pregnancies, but single women were restricted to 20 weeks. The court extended the 24-week period to all women on Thursday.
Reproductive rights activists applauded the ruling, saying the court ensured that the law does not discriminate and ensures that single women have the right to safe and legal abortions.


Abortion Law in India : Married unmarried distinction

Under the Medical Termination Pregnancy Act, abortion has been legal in India since 1971. The law was amended in 2021 to allow certain categories of women – including married women who were divorced or widowed, minors, rape victims, and mentally ill women – to obtain abortions up to 24 weeks, an increase from 20 weeks. However, single women were not included in the changes, leading many to wonder why the law differentiated by marital status.

The artificial distinction between married and unmarried women cannot be sustained. Women must have autonomy to have free exercise of these rights

Globally, abortion rights have been a hot-button issue, especially after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, establishing a constitutional right to abortion.
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