“The nature of sexual violence and the contours of consent do not undergo a transformation when one decides to marry. The institution of marriage does not influence the answer to the question of whether a woman has consented to sexual relations. If the woman is in an abusive relationship, she may face great difficulty in accessing medical resources or consulting doctors.”
While the interim order was passed in the case on 21.07.2022, the Supreme Court took over two months to write a far-reaching 75-pages-long verdict, touching upon various aspects like purposive interpretation of Medical Termination of Pregnancy laws, equal status of married and unmarried or single women, right to reproductive autonomy, right to dignity, effect of unwanted pregnancy on mental health of women, etc.
“Denying an unmarried woman the right to a safe abortion violates her personal autonomy and freedom.”