Court relaxes rules for woman to abort foetus suffering from congenital anomaly

The Delhi High Court has relaxed the law governing termination of pregnancy to allow a 27-year-old woman to abort her 25-week foetus diagnosed with a congenital anomaly which made it “impossible for the child” to remain alive after birth.

A Bench of Chief Justice and Justice C. Hari Shankar took the assistance of medical experts from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to determine the condition of the foetus suffering from Bilateral Muticystic Kidney disease with Oligohydramnios and Pulmonary Hypoplasia.

Dr. K. Aparna Sharma, assistant professor of Obsteric and Gynaecology, said the condition of the foetus was “incompatible with life and that it would be impossible for the child to remain alive after birth”. To a query about possible danger to the mother in case the pregnancy is terminated, Dr. Sharma said there was a very slim chance of the mother having to undergo surgery for terminating her pregnancy.

The mother, in her plea, had challenged certain sections of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, including the stipulated ceiling of 20 weeks for termination of pregnancy, beyond which abortion of a foetus is statutorily impermissible.

Noting her plea and the stand of the experts, the High Court said: “In a case where the condition of the foetus is incompatible with life, the rigour of Section 3(2) of the MTP Act deserves to be relaxed.”

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Printable version | Sep 16, 2022 2:22:52 am |