In a first, Bombay High Court allows surrogate mom to abort 24-week foetus

Mumbai: TheBombay High Court, on Friday, allowed a surrogate mother to abort her 24-weekfoetus, as the foetus had numerous heart abnormalities. This is the firstinstance of a surrogate mother approaching the court and receiving consent toterminate a pregnancy which is beyond the 20-week limit under the MedicalTermination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act.

A vacation bench presided over by Justice Bharati Dangregranted permission to the surrogate mother, who had entered into an agreementwith a Pune-based couple,  for carryingtheir baby. The court, before allowing the abortion under the MTP Act, alsosought affirmation for the same from the intended parents. The surrogate motherhad earlier approached the regular bench headed by Justice SatyaranjanDharmadhikari, seeking to abort her foetus. The woman claimed her foetus wasabnormal after she underwent a routine prenatal check-up.

Accordingly, the bench, before going on Christmas vacation,referred her matter to a medical board, consisting of doctors from the BJMedical College and Sassoon General Hospital, Pune. The board, in its reportsubmitted on Thursday, opined the foetus indeed had several cardiacabnormalities. “If allowed to be born, the child will require multiplesurgeries and despite this, the chances of survival are less,” the reportstated. Having considered the report, Justice Dangre allowed the surrogatemother to undergo MTP in the Sassoon General hospital.

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