Pregnancy during live-in-relationship can be terminated – Bombay High Court Division Bench

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Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 – Section 3, Section 4, Section 5 – When pregnancies may be terminated by registered medical practitioners – pregnancy during live-in-relationship – If pregnancy is due to rape, then there is bound to be complete mental break down of a victim. We need to interpret Explanation 2 which is restricted only to a married couple. However, today a man and a woman who are in live-in-relationship, cannot be covered under Explanation 2 whereas Explanation 2 should be read to mean any couple living together like a married couple – A woman irrespective of her marital status can be pregnant either by choice or it can be an unwanted pregnancy. To be pregnant is a natural phenomenon for which woman and man both are responsible. Wanted pregnancy is shared equally, however, when it is an accident or unwanted, then the man may not be there to share the burden but it may only be the woman on whom the burden falls. Under such circumstances, a question arises why only a woman should suffer. There are social, financial and other aspects immediately attached to the pregnancy of the woman and if pregnancy is unwanted, it can have serious repercussions. It undoubtedly affects her mental health. The law makers have taken care of helpless plight of a woman and have enacted Section 3(2)(b)(i) by incorporating the words “grave injury to her mental health”. It is mandatory on the registered medical practitioner while forming opinion of necessity of termination of pregnancy to take into account whether it is injurious to her physical or mental health. While doing so, the woman’s actual or reasonable foreseeable environment may be taken into account. Bombay High Court DB Before : VK Tahilramani and Mridula Bhatkar, JJ. ) High Court On Its Own Motion Vs State Of Maharashtra Suo Motu Public Interest Litigation No. 1 of 2016 Decided on : 19.09.2016 

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