19-week pregnant woman in Mumbai may miss abortion deadline owing to thyroid condition
Mumbai city news: While the Malad resident can abort at present, her thyroid condition puts her life at risk if she undergoes the procedure without treatment.mumbai Updated: Jul 12, 2017 23:33 IST
A 19-week pregnant woman, who wants to abort the foetus, may miss the legal deadline by a week because she is being treated for a thyroid condition that can make the abortion unsafe.
“She wants to abort the child as her former partner, who had promised to marry her, has backed out,” said Dr Nikhil Datar, a city-based gynaecologist who is evaluating the case.
A sonography test showed the baby to be normal.
Dr Datar has helped several women seek permission from the Supreme Court to abort babies with severe birth defects after the 20-week legal deadline for abortion.
While the Malad resident can abort at present, her thyroid condition puts her life at risk if she undergoes the procedure without treatment. “Her treatment will last for a week. But by then, she would have crossed the 20-week abortion deadline,” said Dr Datar.
He said the other option was to approach the Supreme Court to allow her to abort the foetus after 20 weeks but the woman has not yet taken a decision on this.
Around a week ago, a 25-year-old woman from Kandivli delivered a baby with a severe neurological disorder. She and her husband had moved the Supreme Court during the 24th week of pregnancy but were denied permission based on a report by doctors from KEM Hospital, Parel.
Doctors in the city have been pushing for a revision in the abortion deadline.
“The law does not leave the woman with many options. It is not her fault that she was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism which can risk her abortion procedure,” said a gynaecologist from Lilavati Hospital, Bandra.
WHAT THE LAW SAYS
The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act does not allow abortions beyond 20 weeks of pregnancy, except in cases where there is a threat to the mother’s life.
Any person/ doctor breaching the provisions of the Act can invite imprisonment up to seven years.
The draft Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Bill of 2014, which is yet to be introduced in the Parliament, allows abortion up to 24 weeks.
A healthcare provider “in good faith” can make the decision of terminating a pregnancy between 20 and 24 weeks if:
- The pregnancy involves substantial risks to the mother or child
- If the pregnant woman has alleged the pregnancy was caused by rape