Woman approaches Bombay High Court to abort 28-week foetus

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court is likely to decide on Tuesday if termination of pregnancy at an advanced stage can be allowed by considering the “mental trauma”, a mother would undergo if allowed to continue with the pregnancy. This comes after a 28-weeks pregnant woman petitioned the HC seeking permission to terminate her foetus.

A division bench of Justice Ravindra Borde and Justice Rajesh Ketkar was moved by a woman seeking permission to abort her 28-week old foetus. It may be noted that as per the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, abortion is disallowed if the foetus is more than 20-weeks.

The woman has sought permission to abort her foetus since it is suffering from multiple deformities. According to her medical reports, the foetus which has almost developed is suffering from skull deformation. It is also learnt that the foetus does not have a stomach and has holes in the heart. The woman apprehends that the child would not live post delivery. Accordingly, the judges had sent her to the JJ Hospital’s medical board which examined her. The medical board then submitted its report to the judges.

Advocate Minaz Kakalia, appearing for the woman said, “The report confirms the deformities in the foetus. It recommends for abortion subject to permission from the court.” During the course of the hearing, Kakalia informed the judges that her client is undergoing mental trauma and if she compelled to deliver the baby, there are chances that the child may not survive. She also said that post the death of the baby (after delivery), there are chances that her client may undergo psychological trauma this mental injury can have a harmful impact on her life.

Having heard her contentions, the judges asked her to cite any case wherein the Supreme Court has considered the apprehension of mental trauma in future (post delivery) and has allowed termination of pregnancy. The judges are likely to decide the matter today.

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