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Widow Seeking Termination of Pregnancy : Delhi HC Reserves Verdict on Widow’s Plea for Pregnancy Termination Amidst Intense Legal Battle

Widow Seeking Termination of Pregnancy : New Delhi, 03 Jan (City Times) : In a pivotal legal battle, the Delhi High Court has reserved its order on the urgent plea of a grieving widow seeking permission to terminate her 27-week pregnancy. The woman, battling severe depression, finds herself at the center of a controversial case, questioning her right to make decisions about her own body.

Widow Seeking Termination of Pregnancy : The Struggle Unfolds in Court

Justice Subramonium Prasad, presiding over the case, heard passionate submissions from Dr. Amit Mishra, the petitioner’s counsel. The widow, admitted to the hospital, left when doctors encouraged her to proceed with the pregnancy against her wishes. Dr. Mishra argued vehemently that compelling her to continue the pregnancy amounted to a violation of her privacy, emphasizing the profound impact on her mental health.

The bench referenced a Supreme Court judgment affirming the possibility of termination even at this advanced stage, suggesting a potential shift in legal precedent. The evolving mental status of the petitioner became a critical factor, prompting the court to reconsider the circumstances surrounding the case.

Crucial Psychiatric Evaluation

The court previously sought insights from the Department of Psychiatry at AIIMS Hospital to determine the impact on the petitioner’s health if the pregnancy were allowed to continue. The psychiatric evaluation revealed alarming findings: the widow is grappling with severe depression and suicidal ideation.

In light of the elevated risks to both the petitioner and the unborn child, the court ordered further evaluation. The Department of Psychiatry at AIIMS confirmed the petitioner’s admission to the psychiatry ward due to the acute mental health challenges she faces.

A Widow’s Struggle: A Case Overview

This legal saga began when a 23-year-old widow approached the court seeking permission for the medical termination of her pregnancy. Her husband’s untimely demise on October 9, 2023, compounded by the emotional toll of her circumstances, has triggered a profound mental and physical trauma.

Despite the medical board’s initial reluctance to recommend termination, Dr. Amit Mishra persistently argued for the widow’s right to make decisions about her body. He highlighted the distressing mental state and cited legal precedents supporting the termination of pregnancies even at advanced stages.

Conclusion: A Crucial Verdict Pending

As the legal battle unfolds, the Delhi High Court has deferred its verdict until Thursday, emphasizing the gravity of the decision. The widow’s plea not only challenges societal norms but also underscores the imperative need for a compassionate legal approach in cases that intertwine personal autonomy and mental health struggles. The impending judgment holds the key to shaping future discourse on reproductive rights and mental health within the legal framework.

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