A (Mother of X) vs State Of Maharashtra 2024 INSC 371 – MTP Act- Termination Of Pregnancy

Constitution of India, 1950; Article 21 – The right to choose and reproductive freedom is a fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution. Therefore, where the opinion of a minor pregnant person differs from the guardian, the court must regard the view of the pregnant person as an important factor while deciding the termination of the pregnancy. (Para 35)

Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act 1971 ; Section 3(2B)- The medical board, in forming its opinion on the termination of pregnancies must not restrict itself to the criteria under Section 3(2-B) of the MTP Act but must also evaluate the physical and emotional well being of the pregnant person (Para 37)- The medical board cannot merely state that the grounds under Section 3(2-B) of the MTP Act are not met. The exercise of the jurisdiction of the courts would be affected if they did not have the advantage of the medical opinion of the board as to the risk involved to the physical and mental health of the pregnant person. Therefore, a medical board must examine the pregnant person and opine on the aspect of the risk to their physical and mental health. When a person approaches the court for permission to terminate a pregnancy, the courts apply their mind to the case and make a decision to protect the physical and mental health of the pregnant person. (Para 27)- [The provision Section 3(2B) is arguably suspect on the ground that it unreasonably alters the autonomy of a person by classifying a substantially abnormal fetus differently than instances such as incest or rape. This issue may be examined in an appropriate proceeding should it become necessary]

Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act 1971 ; Section 3(3)– The opinion of the pregnant person must be given primacy in evaluating the foreseeable environment of the person under Section 3(3) of the MTP Act- The medical board evaluating a pregnant person with a gestational age above twenty-four weeks must opine on the physical and mental health of the person by furnishing full details to the court. (Para 30) – When issuing a clarificatory opinion the medical board must provide sound and cogent reasons for any change in opinion and circumstances; and (iv)The consent of a pregnant person in decisions of reproductive autonomy and termination of pregnancy is paramount. In case there is a divergence in the opinion of a pregnant person and her guardian, the opinion of the minor or mentally ill pregnant person must be taken into consideration as an important aspect in enabling the court to arrive at a just conclusion. (Para 37)

Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act 1971 – The MTP Act protects the RMP and the medical boards when they form an opinion in good faith as to the termination of pregnancy. (Para 37)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *