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Rights of the Unborn:Supreme Court Rejects Woman's Plea To Abort 26-Week Pregnancy

Delhi, October 17 2023: In a landmark judgement, in a case that has sparked debate on the rights of a woman over her body and the rights of her unborn foetus, the Supreme Court on Monday rejected a petition by a woman to abort her 26-week pregnancy. The Saved Pearl Foundation commends this verdict that upholds the sanctity of life – a beating heart is the primary sign of a life that is already being lived.

The petitioner in the case, a 26 year old married mother of two, suffers from post-partum psychosis and had sought abortion as she felt ’emotionally, financially and mentally’ incapable of raising a third child. The case has drawn attention due to a series of contradictory verdicts, intervention by the All India Institute Of Medical Science (AIIMS) and the Union government, and referral to the Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud, who eventually ruled against the petition.

In a statement that The Saved Pearl Foundation applauds, Chief Justice DY Chandrachud remarked, “Consistent as we are about the need for [the mother’s] autonomy, we cannot be oblivious of the rights of the unborn child.

Celebrating the judgement while empathising with the young mother-to-be, Mrs. Arlene Theknath, Founder of the Saved Pearl Foundation said, “Life begins in the womb, and we at the Saved Pearl Foundation appreciate this judgement in favour of the ‘other’ unnamed petitioner – the unborn foetus. We are glad for the intervention and the offer of medical and financial aid to the petitioner by the government and the medical community. It is important for women everywhere to be aware of the help that is available to them, should they find themselves in a position of having to choose between their own future and that of their child.”

The Saved Pearl Foundation has been working in Mumbai, India since 2015 towards the care of expectant mothers in need, providing these women and girls with board and lodging, nutritious food and supplements, counseling and emotional support, medical expenses, and legal aid. Through awareness-building and outreach programmes, the Foundation also works towards the prevention of teenage pregnancies.

For more information, contact Ms. Fionna at [email protected].