Consent of a woman to sexual act does not mean abandonment of reproductive rights: Delhi court for forced abortion

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A woman who exercises sexual autonomy by consent cannot be considered consenting to a violation of her reproductive rights, while a man who repeatedly raped a woman and forced her to have an abortion is denied bail.

Additional Sessions Judge Vishal Cochrane, who issued the order on September 30, said, “When sexual relations are consistent and long lasting, the parties in a consensual relationship may be equally interested in the act of violating reproductive autonomy through multiple pregnancies and taking the consent given for abortion sexual act.

The woman alleged that the accused befriended her on Facebook and forcibly had sex with her. He said the accused had raped himself several times and forced an abortion. She was pregnant for the fourth time and was assaulted by the accused, following which an FIR was registered in the case.

Although the defense attorney for the accused did not present insensitive arguments, the court noted that it attempted to “send the applicant home on bail in the context of the survivor’s sexual autonomy.”

“This is an erroneous construction of the notion of a person / woman’s physical / sexual autonomy. A partner has no right to use a woman’s sexual choice. She does not relinquish her other rights, including reproductive rights, when having sex with a partner,” the court said.

The court held that the accused had sexually abused and violated the complainant’s reproductive rights.

“Getting a young woman pregnant as a mother is the result of enormous inconvenience, especially if the child is born by someone who has been accused of rape,” it noted.

The court also noted that in many judgments a woman’s reproductive rights are recognized as part of her right to life and personal liberty.

The parties to a consensual relationship “may have an equal interest when sexual intercourse is consistent and prolonged, taking the element of consent granted in violation of reproductive autonomy through multiple pregnancies and abortion. For sexual intercourse.”



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