New Delhi: Reproduction and abortion was a basic fundamental right and a matter of choice for every woman, stated a public interest litigation (PIL) filed in the Supreme Court challenging the existing laws that criminalise abortion.
The current legal framework imposed immense financial and social hardship on women. Also, the time taken in adjudication was also detrimental to the health of woman, it stated and added, a woman from rural and economically backward areas hardly had the wherewithal to move courts for enforcement of their right.
The Indian Penal Code criminalizes abortion. The law sanctions punishment for the mother as well as for the abortionist, if they were to abort a child where the life of the mother is not at risk. Currently, abortion after 20 weeks is allowed only if the life of mother is in danger, or the foetus cannot survive. The petition moved under the Article 32 categorises the issue as fundamental right to safe abortions, right to health, reproductive choice and right to privacy of women. (IANS)