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HC allows termination of 22-week pregnancy as foetus suffering from abnormalities

The Delhi High Court Monday granted permission to a woman for medical termination of her 22-week pregnancy as the foetus was suffering from serious abnormalities with less chances of survival.

HC allows termination of 22-week pregnancy as foetus suffering from abnormalities
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New Delhi

Justice Rekha Palli considered the report of medical board of AIIMS that it agreed with the decision of the would-be-parents to abort the foetus due to the abnormalities. 

“Considering the report of experts.., I am of the view that the petition deserves to be allowed. The petitioner (woman) is allowed to terminate the pregnancy,” the judge said. 

The court granted permission to the couple to get the pregnancy terminated at the hospital of their choice, Lady Hardinge Hospital, and said the gynaecologist concerned shall ensure that the process is done at the earliest. 

The court allowed the petition filed by a 32-year-old woman, who completed 22-week gestation period, seeking permission to undergo medical termination of her pregnancy on the ground that the her foetus was suffering from various defects and abnormalities. 

Advocate Sneha Mukherjee, representing the woman, submitted that continuation of the pregnancy to its full term not only carries a substantial risk of serious physical handicap to the offspring but also a high chance of morbidity in the foetus. 

Section 3 of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act does not permit termination of pregnancy in case the period of gestation is more than 20 weeks. 

The couple, who was present in the video conferencing hearing, told the court that keeping in view the abnormalities with which the foetus has been suffering, they are desirous to discontinue the pregnancy. 

The court, on July 28, had directed the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to expeditiously constitute a medical board and examine the woman and furnish a report regarding the feasibility of undergoing termination of her pregnancy. 

In January last year, the union cabinet had approved the Medical Termination Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020, which provides for enhancing the upper gestation limit from 20 to 24 weeks for special categories of women including survivors of rape, victim of incest and other vulnerable women, like ones with disabilities as well as minors.

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