Mumbai: Four pregnant women from Maharashtra have approached the Supreme Court with appeals to abort their unborn foetus, who have been detected with life-threatening abnormalities. The SC granted permission to one of them, a 21-year-old Mumbai homemaker to abort her foetus.
The Mumbai woman is 21-week pregnant and her scans revealed the unborn child has fluid in the brain which is life threatening. She said, “I thank the SC, for granting me the permission to abort my abnormal foetus. Earlier, I was really anxious and worried.” The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act of 1971 bars abortion if the foetus has crossed the 20-week mark. An exception to the law is made if a registered medical practitioner certifies that the pregnancy is life-threatening for the mother or the baby.
“We had approached the SC last week. The court asked the petitioner to undergo an assessment in the state-run J.J hospital. Based on that report, today, the SC passed the judgement that she can go for abortion,” Counsel Sneha Mukherjee said.
The second woman was visiting a municipal hospital in Mira-Bhayander where she learnt that her unborn child has a serious developmental defect, anencephaly (the absence of a major portion of the brain, skull, and scalp that occurs during embryonic development). The third, a resident of Satara, is in her 24th week of pregnancy and her unborn child has a severe form of cardiac impairment (pulmonary atresia), while the fourth, aged 25, is in her 21st week of pregnancy and her unborn child too has been detected with anencephaly. The division bench comprising of Judge Deepak Misra and Judge A.M. Khanwilkar heard the matter. The matter of the rest of the three women has not yet come on board of SC.