Mumbai

Woman moves HC to abort 27-week foetus

A woman has moved the Bombay High Court seeking permission to abort her 27-week-old foetus, which suffers from heart, brain and gastrointestinal anomalies.

Shaikh Ayesha Khatoon approached the Vacation Bench of Justice Sandeep Shinde stating that an ultrasound test on December 26, 2017 revealed that her foetus was 27 weeks and 4 days old, which was beyond the permissible abortion limit of 20 weeks.

The court has directed the medical board of J.J. Hospital to examine the mental and physical condition of the woman. The team — comprising the hospital’s Dean, Head of Gynaecology Department, Head of Paediatric Cardiac Surgery, and Head of Radiology and Psychology Department — will conduct the tests on Thursday and submit its report on January 8.

Advocate Meenaz Kakalia said, “Since November last year, over 10 women have moved the Bombay High Court seeking permission to terminate their foetuses, which have crossed the 20-week abortion limit.”

Ms. Kakalia said that there is a need to constitute a team that can examine the woman as soon as it is known that she needs to terminate her pregnancy without there being a need to move court.

Ms. Kakalia said, “Taking the court’s permission to terminate a pregnancy takes up a lot of time. First, the petition has to be filed and then it comes up for hearing. The court then constitutes a team of experts to examine the woman and asks it to submit a report. The report then comes up before the court and finally it passes an order for the termination of the pregnancy.”

On November 16, 2017, the Central government had directed the State governments to constitute medical boards that could make a decision on terminating pregnancies beyond 20 weeks.

The committee should comprise experts from the departments of gynaecology and obstetrics, paediatrics, radiology and sonology, cardiology, pulmonology, neurology, genetics, and pathology. Such committees in the State will be formed in Pune, Thane, Nashik, Kolhapur, Aurangabad, Latur and Akola. Advocate Amit Karkhanis said, “To be effective, such committees should function in a time-bound manner.”


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Printable version | Jan 27, 2022 7:16:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/woman-moves-hc-to-abort-27-week-foetus/article22361931.ece

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