Chhattisgarh High Court issues notices on a petition asking for implementation of MTP Act


WRIT PETITION (PIL) No. OF 2014 NAMHHR versus State of Chhattisgarh The Petitioner has filed a public interest, under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, seeking the recognition and implementation of the provisions of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 which aims to provide access to safe and legal abortion services in the public and the private sector. It is pertinent to state here that Unsafe Abortion is a leading cause of Maternal Deaths and accounts for an estimated 18% of Maternal Deaths in India. Lack of access due to non-implementation of the MTP Act is a leading cause for unsafe abortions. The Petitioner is a national alliance of individuals and organisations called National Alliance for Maternal Health and Human Rights (hereinafter referred to as ‘NAMHHR’) which was started on 20.01.2010 with the realization that strong rights-based strategies are needed to build greater accountability for the thousands of preventable deaths among women in India. The Alliance currently has 36 members from 13 states of India, including the Respondent State of Chhattisgarh, as well as expert advisors working with research, Right to Food, public health, right to medicines and budget accountability. The group recognizes that there is an urgent need for women's organizations, health organizations, and groups working on law and human rights, and mass-based organizations to come together on this issue. The NAMMHR works through research, capacity building, budget tracking and engages in policy, legal and media advocacy. The alliance is represented through its Convener Ms. Jashodhara Dasgupta. The petition relies on three main sources as the basis for the clear and complete violation in the obligation to provide access to safe and legal abortion services by the Respondents. The first source is the compilation of responses to specific Right to Information (RTI) Applications filed by a member of the Petitioner Alliance. The second source of information are the various public records, documents and reports which clearly point out the fact that these services are not available in the public sector. The third source of information is the information gathered by members of the Petitioner alliance over 3 different visits to some of the districts in the Respondent State in the years 2013 and 2014. Now, the Honorable Court has issued notice to the state of Chhattisgarh & others for the implementation of MTP Act.