Women’s reproductive rights: SC notice to Centre on plea against age restriction
New Delhi: The Supreme Court has sought response from the Centre on a plea against the age restriction of 35 years on women’s reproductive rights for conducting pre-conception and pre-natal diagnostic tests.
A bench of Justices S K Kaul and Abhay S Oka issued notice to the Union government and others on a plea filed by an advocate contending that the age bar is a restriction on the reproductive rights of women.
“She refers to Section 4(3)(i) of the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994 to contend that the age restriction of 35 years is a restriction on the reproductive rights of women and in view of the recent judgment of this Court…Issue notice restricted to the aforesaid aspect,” it said.
The top court was hearing a plea filed by advocate Meera Kaura Patel who contended that the age restriction of 35 years in Section 4(3)(i) of the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994 is a restriction on the reproductive rights of women.
As per the act, no pre-natal diagnostic techniques shall be used or conducted unless the age of the pregnant woman is above 35 years.
In a significant ruling on reproductive rights of women, the apex court had earlier held that all women are entitled to safe and legal abortion till 24 weeks of pregnancy under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, and making any distinction on the basis of their marital status is “constitutionally unsustainable”.