Supreme Court allows pregnant woman to terminate her 25-week foetus
- One of the foetuses detected with substantial abnormalities
- Bench allows procedure after medical expert says process will not harm other normal foetus or the mother
New Delhi: The Supreme Court has allowed the woman to terminate her 25th week of pregnancy. The woman was carrying twins whereby one of the fetuses was detected with some certain abnormalities.
The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act 1971 stated that the abortion would be considered illegal if the fetus surpasses the 20- weeks mark. The law exempted only if a medical report certifies the court the continued pregnancy would threaten the life of the mother.
The three-judge bench led by the Justice R. Banumathi rejected the decision made by the Bombay High Court and allowed the woman to proceed forward with the abortion. The medical report added that abortion would not threaten the growth of the other fetus and the mother.
Several cases have been reported whereby the woman wanted to terminate their pregnancy. Many rape survivors, women underwent domestic violence have approached the apex court against the 1971 law. The court has dealt with medical termination from time to time. The SC has also received a petition that mentioned the decriminalization of abortion. The petition filed by Swati Agarwal, Garima Sekseria and Prachi Vats argued that as per the Article 21 of the constitution, the women have the right to exercise her reproductive choices that included whether she would conceive or carry the pregnancy to the full term or not.
This year in the month of January, the Union Cabinet has approved the medical termination of pregnancy (Amendment) Bill,2020 that has proposed a new clause to increase the time of gestation limit for the pregnancy. Also, a new draft has been proposed that requested amendment of Section 3 of the 1971 Act that the fetus diagnosed with ‘substantial fetal abnormalities’ could be aborted.