Doctors terminated on Friday the 24-week pregnancy of a Mumbai woman after the Supreme Court relaxed a 20-week legal ceiling on abortion in the case.
The court allowed the 22-year-old woman to terminate pregnancy after doctors said the foetus was malformed and also posed a risk to the mother’s life.
Avinash Supe, dean of Mumbai’s KEM Hospital, said doctors started inducing labour on Tuesday after doing the primary tests.
“The patient underwent abortion at around 3-3.30am without any medical complications. We will observe her today (Friday) and will discharge her tomorrow,” said Supe.
The couple wanted to abort the foetus after it was diagnosed with anencephaly — a rare condition in which babies are born with parts of their brain and skull missing — at 21.1 weeks. The Supreme Court granted permission on Monday.
The present law, under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, does not allow abortion post 20 weeks of pregnancy. The court order came after the review of a report submitted by a panel of doctors.
The pregnancy termination law allows a woman to abort but only after doctors confirm “it is necessary to save the mother’s life”. It, however, is silent on a remedy in case of an abnormal foetus.
The patient’s husband said both of them were relieved now, but his wife was under stress due to the incident.
“It’s a huge load off our chests but while she is healthy after the surgery...she is a little upset...,” said Pal.
Shubhangi Parker, the HOD of the psychiatry department of the hospital, said she checked the patient before and after the surgery for an assessment.
“The woman is extremely innocent and needs a full psychological support as she has gone through such a huge chain of events. Our major aim right now is to build a mental support system for her...,” said Dr Parker.
Nikhil Datar, who helped the woman with legal and medical aid, said there were three more similar cases, and the patients were contemplating to move the Supreme Court.
“...there is a need for a concrete mechanism which will prevent every case taking legal course for a resolution,” Datar said.