HC allows termination of 24-week pregnancy

A view of the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court, in Madurai.

A view of the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court, in Madurai.   | Photo Credit: R. ASHOK

The woman with special needs was sexually assaulted by her neighbour


Taking into account the fact that the Union Cabinet had recently approved the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill (MTP Bill) – 2020, the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Thursday allowed termination of 24-week pregnancy of a woman with special needs.

Justice Pushpa Sathyanarayana observed that one of the comments on the MTP Act – 1971 was that it had failed to keep pace with the advances in medical technology and allow removal of foetus at a relatively advanced state of pregnancy.

The Cabinet had approved the MTP Bill – 2020 that sought to extend the pregnancy period from 20 weeks to 24 weeks for allowing termination, making it easier for women to safely and legally terminate unwanted pregnancies. But unfortunately, the Bill was pending before Parliament for approval, the judge said.

“It is pertinent to point out that there should be a permanent committee constituted for setting up a protocol procedure or permanent mechanism for expediting the termination of pregnancy involving rape victims and abnormal foetus cases”, the judge said.

The court was hearing the petition filed by the mother of the woman, seeking to terminate the pregnancy of her daughter, who was sexually assaulted by their neighbour. The accused, Kasi, was arrested and remanded in judicial custody.

Taking cognisance of the reports filed by medical experts that a complete physical examination of the woman was conducted and she was fit for termination of the pregnancy, the court allowed the termination.

“Considering... the mental and physical condition of the victim and in order to respect the personal liberty of a woman, welfare of the unborn and after perusal of the report submitted... in the case, this court permits the petitioner’s daughter to undergo medical termination of her pregnancy,” the judge said.

The procedure should be done by a team of medical experts, including experts in obstetrics and gynaecology, under the supervision of the Dean of Government Sivaganga Medical College and Hospital. The DNA of the foetus should be preserved for the purpose of criminal trial, the court said.

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 4:08:47 AM |

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