New Delhi, July 25: The Supreme Court on Monday permitted the termition of a 24-week-old pregncy after medical reports said the foetus has severe abnormalities and could gravely endanger the “mental and physical health” of the mother-to-be. The bench comprising Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar and Justice Arun Mishra, after perusing the report of a medical board of KEM Hospital, Mumbai, said: “We grant the liberty to termite the pregncy by the pregnt mother in accordance with law.” The report by a team of seven doctors came in pursuance to the court’s order on Friday to examine the pregnt woman, who is a rape victim, and give its opinion on her plea seeking direction for the termition of pregncy.
Pointing to “severe multiple congenital deformities” in the 22 to 24-week-old foetus, the report by the medical board said that there was absence of skull, and liver, intestines and stomach were floating in the absence of covering of the stomach. Besides “severe multiple congenital deformities” in the foetus, what clinched the issue in favour of termiting 24 week pregncy was paert of the report which said that the “condition gravely threatens the physical and mental health” of the expectant mother.
Taking the court through various provision of the Medical Termition of Pregncy Act, 1971, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said that under the law, a pregncy can be termited within 12 weeks and also before or upto 20 weeks with some more stringent conditions. He said that after 20 weeks and upto 24 weeks, the pregncy can be termited only if there is threat to the life of the expectant mother. He said that there is bar on the termition of pregncy beyond 20 weeks because medically between 22 to 24 weeks, a life comes into being. Citing the medical report, the Attorney General said that case before the court was covered under Section 54 of the act. (IANS)