The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that the marital status of a woman cannot be a ground to deprive her right to abort unwanted pregnancy.
The court also said that an unmarried woman has the right to abort under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act till 24 weeks of pregnancy.
It also said that sexual assault by husbands can take the form of rape, and the meaning of rape must include the meaning of marital rape under the MTP Act and Rules for the purposes of abortion.
Interpreting the MTP Act, Justice D Y Chandrachud said: “Even an unmarried woman can undergo abortion up to 24 weeks on par with married women.”
The apex court passed the judgment after hearing petitions challenging appropriate directions in MTP cases.