New Delhi: In a landmark ruling, the Supreme Court on Thursday said that forceful pregnancy can be considered as marital rape. A bench headed by Justice Dy Chandrachud said, “any pregnancy alleged to be caused by force by pregnant woman is rape.” The apex court also ruled that the marital status of a woman can’t be a ground to deprive her of her right to abort unwanted pregnancy.Also Read – All Women Entitled to Safe, Legal Abortion; Distinction Between Married and Unmarried 'Unconstitutional', Rules SC
“Married women may also form part of survivors of sexual assault or rape. A woman may become pregnant due to a non-consensual act by the husband. Sex and gender-based violence in all its form has been part of families,” Justice Chandrachud said. Also Read – US President Biden Signs Executive Order to Protect Travel for Abortion
The bench also ruled that a woman need not prove the commission of rape or sexual assault to seek termination of pregnancy under the MTP Act. Also Read – Minor Gang Raped By Three Youths In Bihar's Arwal
The rulings came as the Supreme Court was scheduled to pronounce the judgment today on whether an unmarried woman can seek abortion of pregnancy of 20-24 weeks term in a consensual relationship.