Punjab and Haryana High Court to Examine validity of provision of Medical Termination and Pregnancy Act, 1971:

Multiple petitions have been filed before the Punjab and Haryana High Court regarding the hurdles in termination of pregnancy after 20 weeks. As per the provision of the Medical Termination and Pregnancy Act, 1971, termination of pregnancy is prohibited after 20 weeks of the pregnancy.

While hearing a petition in the same issue before Justice Rajbir Sherawat, it was observed that even after the clear indication of unhealthy child or loss of life of the mother, couples are inclined to have child due to the provision of the act.

The Court in this regard observed that “As a result some educated and well-off couples might have been successful in saving the life of the would-be mothers/women. However there would be thousands of couples who are either not able to avail legal assistance or and legal remedies by approaching this Court in time or who might be living in abject poverty and therefore, are not able to avail the legal remedy at all. In such situation the would-be mothers would not have any choice except to lose their own lives in some cases or to give birth to a totally lunatic or destitute or incapacitated children, despite the fact that there had been a competent advise from the medical professional for termination of those pregnancies.”

The Court further noticed that having a child even after clear dissent of medical advice is a sheer violation of Fundamental Rights enshrined under the Constitution. The Court is going to hear the matter next on August 10, 2020.

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