BOMBAY HC ALLOWS TERMINATION OF FOETUS AFTER 28 WEEKS :
Abortion (or termination) is the ending of a pregnancy by removal or expulsion of a fetus through medical procedures before it can survive outside the uterus i.e. before completion of the gestational period.
The Indian Penal Code criminalises abortion u/s - 312, describing it as intentionally "causing a miscarriage", except in cases where abortion was carried out to save the life of the woman.
The passing of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act in 1971, was a landmark decision in the legalization of abortion in India. The Act served to allow exceptions under certain exceptional conditions. With the arrival of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act in 1971, termination of pregnancy was made legal up to a broad range of 20 weeks of gestation. In exceptional cases, a court may allow a termination after 20 weeks.The MTP Act of 1971 permits the termination of pregnancy in the following two cases:
Where continuation of the pregnancy would involve a risk to the life of the pregnant woman or grave injury to her physical or mental health; and
Where substantial risk exists of the child being born with serious physical or mental abnormality.
Current Issue :
In the present issue filed before the Bombay High Court, the Court recently allowed a 28-week pregnant woman seeking permission for termination of pregnancy as several deformities were found in the fetus during sonography.
According to the petitioner, there is a substantial risk that due to several serious physical or mental abnormalities, if the child is born, it would render the child severely handicapped.
The division bench of Justice Akil Kureshi and Justice SJ Kathawalla allowed the writ petition after perusing through the medical board's opinion. The medical board opined: "Upon examination after careful study of multiple sonography reports, it is confirmed that the fetus suffers from serious physical condition 'Semilobar Holoprosencephaly and complete bilateral cleft lip and palate.' The condition of the fetus fulfils the criteria of 'substantial risk of serious physical handicap'." After perusing through the said report Court concluded that the petition must be allowed and the petitioner should undergo medical termination of pregnancy.
Thus Bombay HC allows termination of 28-week-old foetus.