Bombay HC allows abortion of two foetuses beyond 20 weeks
The petitioners include a teen rape survivor and a 27-year old-woman carrying an abnormal fetus. Both have been granted an MTP by the jury on Wednesday
Considering the life threat posed to a pregnant teen in one instance and the fetus in the other, the Bombay High court sanctioned two abortions beyond the legal limit of 20 weeks. Under the first case was a 13-year-old rape survivor, carrying a 26-week foetus and potent of a life risk if the pregnancy was not terminated. While a 27-year-old woman whose foetus, being of a similar gestational age and having severe abnormalities accounted for the second.
Relying on the reports of the medical boards of KEM and JJ Hospital, a bench of Justice Shantanu Kempker and Justice Girish Kulkarni allowed their respective pleas.
Both parties had approached the High Court through with their advocate Meenaz Kakalia. The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act in India forbids abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
The first case
The teen was examined on December 2 by a board of medical experts from KEM Hospital constituted by the court. The board was of the opinion that if the pregnancy was allowed to continue, it may cause additional pregnancy-induced hypertension resulting in maternal mortality. The foetus was 25 weeks and 3 days old as reported by the board. The bench strongly felt the need for medical termination of the pregnancy considering the trauma the victim must have gone through and her present state.
The second case
The foetus was examined twice by the JJ Hospital medical board and found that the foetus fulfills the criteria of a substantial risk of serious physical handicap and the risk of termination at this stage remains the same as natural labour. The foetus was already detected with multiple skeletal, spinal and neurological deformities in the 23rd week and was confirmed to have bearing "Arnold-Chiari malformation" on November 23, 2017. The woman has been allowed to undergo an MTP with regard to her fundamental right under article 21 (Right to Life) by the jury.
Both the petitioners are directed to remain present at the respective hospitals on Wednesday so that the MTP can be done within a couple of days.