A single-judge bench consisting of Justice VG Arun at the Kerala High Court recently allowed a woman to terminate her 21-weeks-old pregnancy, emphasising on the fact that a woman does not need her husband's consent as per the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act. The judge noted that this is especially true in cases where the marital status has changed.Another crucial factor to be noted is that the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act does not contain any provision requiring the woman to obtain her husbands permission for terminating the pregnancy, the court said. The reason being that it is the woman who bears the stress and strain of the pregnancy and delivery.The woman in question claimed to be separated from her allegedly abusive husband. While the couple aren't divorced, the judge's statement noted that separation and the claims of abuse indicated by the womanand the criminal complaint made by herprove a change in the marital status. The rules, according to the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, state that any pregnancy between 20 to 24 weeks can be terminated if there is a change of marital status during the ongoing pregnancy (widowhood and divorce).The judge said the decision was made based on the Supreme Courts recent judgement in which the court adopted a purposive interpretation of the Act by stating that a drastic change in matrimonial life of a pregnant woman is equal to a change in her marital status.