INDIA – Divergence of opinion of two Supreme Court judges in India prevents abortion: which judges were they?

The sharp divergence of opinion between two women Supreme Court judges on a married woman’s plea to abort her 26-week fetus sparked off a serious debate on women’s reproductive rights and decisional autonomy. The split verdict put on hold the Court’s 9 October order allowing the termination of the pregnancy — citing vulnerable physical and psychological health of the 27-year-old woman and mother of two children.

Abortion after 24 weeks is permitted only in cases when there are serious threats to the life or well-being of the woman or for substantial fetal abnormalities. The latter had already been accepted. To add insult to injury, bringing additional judges in, the Supreme Court gave her 24 hours to reconsider her plea for the immediate termination of her 26-week pregnancy the next day..

SOURCES: Hindustan Times, by Utkarsh Anand, 12 October 2023 ; Hindustan Times, by Utkarsh Anand, Abraham Thomas, 13 October 2023. PHOTO: Bar and Bench, 31 August 2021