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  Metros   Kolkata  24 Jun 2017  Supreme Court to decide if 24-week foetus can be aborted

Supreme Court to decide if 24-week foetus can be aborted

THE ASIAN AGE. | J VENKATESAN
Published : Jun 24, 2017, 4:57 am IST
Updated : Jun 24, 2017, 4:57 am IST

As the foetus has crossed the 20-weeks mark, it could not be aborted.

Supreme Court of India (Photo: PTI)
 Supreme Court of India (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday constituted a seven-member medical board comprising doctors of the SSKM Hospital in Kolkata to examine the health of 24-week pregnant woman seeking abortion of the foetus suffering from heart problems.

A vacation bench of Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and Sanjay Kishan Kaul directed the medical board to submit a report by June 29 after examining the mother and the foetus indicating whether it will be safe to terminate the pregnancy.

Responding to the notice issued on Wednesday, counsel for the West Bengal government informed the court that it has been decided to constitute a team of seven doctors to examine the woman. Further action will be decided on the basis of the report.

The bench, while setting up the medical board, also took note of a doctor’s opinion in which it was said that a child born with such serious abnormalities might not survive as it was suspected that the foetus suffered from Tetrology of Fallot, a combination of four impairments in the heart.

The bench passed this interim order on the writ petition filed by Ms Sarmishtha Chakraborty and her husband Anirban Chakraborty who also challenged the constitutional validity of the provisions of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 (MTP), which stuck to the ceiling of 20 weeks for termination of pregnancy.

The petitioners submitted that it was during a foetal echocardiography conducted on May 25 this year that it was first suspected that the foetus suffered from the heart impairments. Further, a subsequent foetal echocardiography done on May 30 confirmed it. As the foetus has crossed the 20-weeks mark, it could not be aborted.

Tags: supreme court, sskm hospital, west bengal government, medical termination of pregnancy act
Location: India, West Bengal, Calcutta [Kolkata]