Supreme Court reserves verdict on woman's plea to terminate 26-week pregnancy | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Supreme Court reserves verdict on woman's plea to terminate 26-week pregnancy

Oct 16, 2023 12:29 PM IST

The court first permitted the abortion but then put it on hold due to divergence of opinion of a two-judge bench.

The Supreme Court on Monday reserved verdict on a woman's petition seeking direction to AIIMS to terminate her over 26-week pregnancy. The fresh report from the medical board of the AIIMS has confirmed the petitioner's post-partum psychosis, noting that the foetus hasn't been adversely affected by her medication.

Supreme Court of India (Representative Photo)
Supreme Court of India (Representative Photo)

The Supreme Court on Friday sought a report from the medical board on whether the foetus of the married woman is suffering from any abnormality.

"Though the earlier report which has been submitted by AIIMS does mention that the foetus is normal, nonetheless, in order to place the matter beyond doubt, we request that a further report be submitted on the above aspect," said the three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud.

The bench, also comprising Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, was hearing arguments on the Centre's application seeking recall of the apex court's October 9 order permitting a 27-year-old woman, a mother of two, to undergo termination of pregnancy at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences.

The woman approached the court earlier this month, saying she was unaware of her third pregnancy due to a disorder called lactational amenorrhea, which prevents a patient from menstruating, and suffered from postpartum depression and poor financial conditions.

Under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, the upper limit for the termination of pregnancy is 24 weeks for married women, special categories including survivors of rape, and other vulnerable women such as the differently-abled and minors.

Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves on Monday argued that the World Health Organization (WHO) has termed 24 weeks guideline “obsolete”.

“I don't think our law states that we can override our law based on WHO statement,” the CJI remarked.

The Chief Justice said the challenge to pregnancy termination law will be dealt with in separate proceedings, adding that the present case is to be limited between the petitioner and the state.

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