Kerala High Court Says Reproductive Choice of Women Can't be Curbed

Kochi: The Kerala high court has ruled that a woman’s reproductive choice cannot be restricted while allowing a 23-year-old woman to terminate her 26-week pregnancy due to medical complications.

In his November 2 order, Justice Arun said the woman had an acute stress reaction, and that proceeding with the pregnancy would endanger her life. “There can be no restriction on a woman’s right to exercise her reproductive choice to either procreate or to abstain from procreating,” Justice Arun was quoted as saying by the news agency PTI.

The high court also said that a woman’s right to make reproductive choices is her liberty which falls under Article 21 of the Constitution, citing previous Supreme Court decisions. “A scrutiny of the opinion shows that the petitioner is having an acute stress reaction and continuation of the pregnancy may cause an exacerbation of her medical distress which may entail risk to the petitioner’s life,” the court said.

An MBA student from Kerala had conceived after having a consensual relationship with her classmate. She told the court about detecting the pregnancy only in an ultrasound scan as she was suffering from a polycystic ovarian disease.

She likewise said that her partner with whom she was in a relationship had moved abroad for further studies. As a result, she petitioned the high court, fearing that her mental anguish would interfere with her education and ability to earn a living if she continued the pregnancy.

By Archana

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