Published On : Mon, Jul 3rd, 2017

Woman allowed to go in for abortion in 26th week of pregnancy by Supreme Court

pregnancy abortion
New Delhi/Nagpur
: The Supreme Court of India on Monday permitted a woman, in her 26th week of pregnancy, to abort her foetus though such ‘late abortion’ is prohibited by current abortion laws.

The Justice Dipak Misra and M Khanwilkar bench directed the procedure of termination of pregnancy should be carried out “forthwith” at the SSKM hospital in Kolkata.

The direction came after the report of the medical board and the SSKM Hospital, which advised the termination of pregnancy on the grounds that the mother would suffer “severe mental injury” if the pregnancy is continued and the child, if born alive, has to undergo multiple surgeries for severe cardiac ailments. The situation is such that the child may not survive the first surgery also.

“Keeping in view the report of the medical board, we are inclined to allow the prayer and direct medical termination of pregnancy of petitioner no. 1 (woman),” the bench said.

The woman and her husband had approached the apex court seeking permission to abort her foetus on grounds of abnormalities which could be even fatal to her.

They have also challenged the constitutional validity of section 3(2)(b) of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act which prohibits MTP after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

The apex court had earlier took on record the report of a seven-member medical board set up by the West Bengal government on its direction and asked the woman to examine the report on her health and apprise it of her stand.

The court, on June 23, had ordered setting up of the medical board of seven doctors of the SSKM Hospital to ascertain certain aspects relating to the health of the woman and her 24-week foetus and submit a report.

The couple, in the plea, had attached a report suggesting that the foetus suffered from serious abnormalities, including cardiac issues. This report had said if the birth was allowed, the baby may not survive even the first surgery and, moreover, the foetus could be fatal to the mother as well.

The court had on June 21 sought responses from the Centre and West Bengal government on the plea.