Orissa High Court held that right to progeny and termination of pregnancy is a fundamental right

A rape victim approached the high court after the 20 weeks of gestation period of her pregnancy. The High Court held that the right progeny and termination of pregnancy is a fundamental right guaranteed under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. Referring to the Meera Santhosh Pal case, the court observed that a woman has the right to take decisions about her reproductive organs and is covered under her right to personal liberty. The victim in this case was 21 weeks pregnant. The MTP Act does not allow termination of pregnancy after 20 weeks of gestation period.

The Bench also referred to the MTP (Amendment) Bill of 2020 which allows termination upto 24 weeks of pregnancy. In many cases, the Supreme Court has allowed medical termination of pregnancy after 20 weeks if it may cause a grave risk to the life of the petitioner. But the victim should give consent to such termination. In the present case, the rape victim is a minor and her consent should be recorded as statement as a precautionary measure. The Bench held that the termination of pregnancy shall happen to the petitioner, unless it does not cause any harm to her life.

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