SC allows Bengal woman to abort 25-week foetus with abnormalities
The apex court based its order on a report filed by a medical board which advised the termination of pregnancy on the grounds that child, if born alive, has to undergo multiple surgeries for severe cardiac ailmentsindia Updated: Jul 03, 2017 15:13 IST
The Supreme Court on Monday allowed a West Bengal woman, who is in her 25th week of pregnancy, to abort her foetus that is suffering from severe cardiac ailments.
The apex court based its order on a report filed by a medical board and Kolkata’s SSKM Hospital, which advised the termination of pregnancy on the grounds that the mother would suffer “severe mental injury” if the pregnancy is continued and the child, if born alive, has to undergo multiple surgeries for severe cardiac ailments.
“Keeping in view the report of the medical board, we are inclined to allow the prayer and direct medical termination of pregnancy of petitioner no. 1 (woman),” the bench said.
The woman and her husband had approached the apex court seeking permission to abort the foetus.
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.
Internationally, a woman can seek an abortion of abnormal foetus. However, each country has its own limit, which in most cases is more than 20 weeks. Switzerland, Great Britain and the Netherlands are the only countries to not have such a ceiling.
Earlier this year, the Supreme Court had allowed a 22-year-old Mumbai woman to terminate a 24-week pregnancy after doctors said the foetus was malformed and also posed a risk to the mother’s life, an order that relaxed a 20-week legal ceiling on abortion.