SC denies nod to woman to terminate 27-week foetus
The Supreme Court on Monday refused to grant permission to a woman to abort her 27-week-old foetus having severe physical abnormalities on the ground that the medical report has stated the baby might be "born alive".
A bench of Justices S A Bobde and L Nageswara Rao referred to the report of Mumbai-based K E M Hospital's medical board which advised against termination of the foetus, and said, "There is likelihood that the baby may be born alive" if abortion is carried out at this stage. At the outset, Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar said as per the report, the mother's condition was stable and doctors have not advised medical termination of pregnancy.
"We will accept it (the report)," the bench said after which the counsel appearing for the woman contended that the court should hear merits of the case as termination of foetus could be possible even after 22-week of pregnancy.
"We do not understand all this. This is what the medical board has said. Please tell us why we should not go by this advice...When we have constituted the medical board, we wanted to know about the condition of the mother and the foetus. "It (medical board) has given the report and it says that it is not recommending termination of foetus," the bench told the counsel. "As regard to the foetus, the report states that if the pregnancy is terminated in the 27th week, there is a possibility that the baby may be born alive," it said. "We don't consider it appropriate to direct the petitioner (woman) to terminate the foetus," the judges said.
The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act prohibits termination of pregnancy after 20 weeks even if there is a fatal risk to the mother and the foetus.