Mumbai woman can abort 24-week foetus with brain abnormalities as SC gives nod
The doctors diagnosed the foetus with aqueductal stenosis and hydrocephalus – brain abnormalities which cause mental retardation — in the 21st week.mumbai Updated: Jul 28, 2017 14:42 IST
The Supreme Court on Thursday allowed a 21-year-old woman from Chembur to abort her 24-week abnormal foetus.
The doctors diagnosed the foetus with aqueductal stenosis and hydrocephalus – brain abnormalities which cause mental retardation — in the 21st week.
In India, the law does not permit abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
The apex court on July 24 directed the state-run Sir JJ Hospital, Byculla to form a committee to evaluate the case. The SC took the decision based on the report submitted by the hospital to the court.
Dr Nikhil Datar, a Goregaon-based gynaecologist who evaluated the case, helped the woman’s husband file the petition.
“They are from a poor family. The husband works as a chauffeur and the woman is a homemaker. The woman said she did not want the baby after she learnt about its condition,” he said.
He said although there are treatment options for the baby’s condition after delivery, it will not repair the damage that is already done.
“In this case, the cerebrospinal fluid (found in the brain and spinal cord) accumulates in the brain and puts pressure on the brain tissue,” he said.
He said the prognosis varies from case to case, depending on the damage to the tissue in the womb.
The woman got an ultrasound done at a municipal hospital, which is often overburdened with patients.
Doctors in the city have been pushing for a revision in the abortion deadline, explaining that some abnormalities in the foetus are observed only after the legal deadline for abortion.