20-year-old Mumbai woman wants to terminate ‘unwanted’ pregnancy, HC does not entertain her plea
The 20-year-old woman from the central suburbs, who has suffered domestic violence, learnt about her pregnancy during an ultrasound.Updated: Jun 21, 2018 01:04 IST
The Bombay High court on Tuesday did not entertain the plea of a 22-week pregnant woman to terminate her ‘unwanted’ pregnancy.
The 20-year-old woman from the central suburbs, who has suffered domestic violence, learnt about her pregnancy during an ultrasound recommended by a neurologist for her epilepsy treatment, said her advocate.
“Her husband refused to use protection and she could not take oral contraceptives as it would have interfered with her antiepileptic drugs,” the advocate said.
The advocate said that while the woman found out about her pregnancy during the 17th week, her husband did not allow her to terminate the pregnancy.
“She has come back to her maternal household, but has crossed the deadline,” the advocate said.
The judges said that the case does not fall under the exemptions of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act.
While the Act allows termination of upto 20 weeks, it can allow termination beyond that in cases where the child is maybe born with severe abnormality or if there is physical or mental trauma to the mother’s health.
However, the judges said that the foetus has no ‘deformity’.
The woman had married before 18, when her husband and in-laws had agreed to let her continue her education. However, soon after marriage, they asked for dowry and subjected her to physical violence, the advocate said. They will file a petition in the higher court.
Dr Nikhil Datar, a city-based gynaecologist, who has examined the woman and helped with the legal process said the 20-week abortion deadline is arbitrary.
“The woman’s safety situation has not changed. Two weeks back she could have legally terminated the pregnancy, now that she has crossed 20 weeks, it becomes illegal,” he said.
First Published: Jun 21, 2018 01:01 IST