Sama Resource Group for Women and Health filed a Public Interest Litigation [W.P.(C) 2983 of 2020] before the Delhi High Court towards denial of healthcare specifically to the pregnant women in Delhi and the barriers faced by them and their families in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown declared by Central and the State Government. The PIL was filed through advocates Vrinda Grover, Ratna Appender and Soutik Banerjee, for immediate and urgent orders regarding the right to life and health of pregnant women who are facing barriers in accessing safe medical services for pregnancy and childbirth due to COVID-19 and the lockdown.
The following order was passed by the Hon’ble High Court in this regard on 22 April, 2020:
- 1. The helpline proposed to be set up for senior citizens within two days to be also made available for pregnant women to enable them to access medical facilities and to arrange for transportation for them to visit hospitals for check-ups, delivery and post-delivery consultation, whenever required. The helpline number shall be publicized adequately in the newspapers and social media and also through Delhi Police wherever possible.
- Government of NCT of Delhi assured that sufficient number of ASHA and ANMs will be made available in their respective areas so that they can reach out to the pregnant women and particularly those who are in the high risk category for the follow up. Adequate assistance will be provided to the pregnant women particularly in last trimester. Transportation for the pregnant women to visit hospital would also be arranged pre-delivery, for delivery and post-delivery.
- Central and Delhi Government shall work in tandem to make sure that no barriers are faced by pregnant women and their family members residing in hot spots during the lockdown.