Kolkata woman gets high court nod for aborting 24-week-old foetus with ‘brain anomaly’
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Kolkata woman gets high court nod for aborting 24-week-old foetus with ‘brain anomaly’

The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, 1971, does not allow abortion after 20 weeks. However, the Union health ministry is working on a proposal to raise the ceiling to 24 weeks, and in case of substantial foetal abnormalities, to do away with the upper limit for termination.

india Updated: Jan 14, 2019 19:54 IST
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
Calcutta High Court,foetus,abortion
The Calcutta High Court on Monday allowed a 32-year-old woman to terminate her 24-week-old foetus , which, according to the petitioner, has a severe brain anomaly. (Representative Image/Shutterstock)

The Calcutta High Court on Monday allowed a 32-year-old woman to terminate her 24-week-old foetus , which, according to the petitioner, has a severe brain anomaly.

The directive came from a single bench after a medical board recommended the abortion.

“The medical board of SSKM (Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education & Research ) has expressed its opinion in favour of abortion. Justice Tapabrata Chakraborty expressed concern about the health of the mother. He has also asked me to submit a report after the procedure is completed,” said Amitava Ghosh, advocate for the petitioner.

On Friday, the woman, a resident of Jodhpur Park area in south Kolkata, was referred to a medical board by Justice Chakraborty.

Last week, she told a TV channel that she had taken the decision after she was told by her doctors that the baby is likely to be born with grave abnormalities.

On Saturday, she faced the board at state-run IPGMER that comprised a general physician, a gynaecologist, a paediatrician and a neonatal expert.

The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, 1971, does not allow abortion after 20 weeks. However, the Union health ministry is working on a proposal to raise the ceiling to 24 weeks, and in case of substantial foetal abnormalities, to do away with the upper limit for termination.

The board was set up following a 2017 Supreme Court order directing states/Union Territories to constitute permanent medical boards to examine cases referred to by district courts, high courts and the apex court for abortions beyond 20 weeks for immediate opinion on these matters.

On Friday, Ghosh submitted medical test report in court, which revealed that the baby’s brain had not matured and that its condition was deteriorating.

He also said that two gynaecologists had advised termination of pregnancy for the sake of the mother’s health.

First Published: Jan 14, 2019 19:54 IST