Husband’s consent irrelevant for obtaining abortion, holds Supreme Court

The Supreme Court recently concurred with a decision of the High Court of Punjab and Haryana, where the court had upheld a woman’s sole and inalienable right to give birth or terminate pregnancy, regardless of her husband’s consent. This was in response to a petition filed by the man seeking damages from his wife for undergoing abortion without his knowledge or consent. Dismissing the appeal, the High Court had held that the decision of the mother to consent to matrimonial sex did not extend to consent to conceive a child, and therefore a husband could not force his wife to continue a pregnancy against her will.

Anil Kumar Malhotra v. Mangla Dogra and Ors.