Mumbai: High Court Allows Woman To Undergo 27-Week Pregnancy Termination

Mumbai: High Court Allows Woman To Undergo 27-Week Pregnancy Termination

The medical board at the JJ hospital had permitted her to undergo the termination procedure.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Thursday, April 25, 2024, 07:09 PM IST
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Bombay HC | PTI

The Bombay High Court on Thursday permitted a woman to terminate her 27-week pregnancy at a private hospital as the government-run hospital does not have the facility of selective foetal reduction. During the medical procedure, the foetus’ heart sound is stopped then the termination of pregnancy is undertaken.

She sought to undergo selective foetal reduction for medically terminating her pregnancy due to congenital abnormalities detected in the foetus. The medical board at the JJ hospital had permitted her to undergo the termination procedure. The board, however, had also stated that if the baby is born alive during the procedure then it would be admitted in the neonatal intensive care unit.

The woman, however, urged the court to permit her to undertake the procedure at a private hospital of her choice under the supervision of her doctor. She also expressed apprehension over the birth of a live baby and sought for selective foetal reduction. The court has earlier asked whether the woman could undergo the procedure at JJ hospital or civic run Cooper Hospital. 

Advocates Present Alternatives For Pregnancy Termination Procedure

State Advocate General Birendra Saraf informed a bench headed by Justice AS Chandurkar that while the woman could undergo the selective  foetal reduction but the facility was not available at Cooper hospital or JJ hospital. He said that she could be referred to Wadia Hospital, which receives funds from the government and is partly managed by the BMC. 

The woman's advocate Meenaz Kakalia then submitted that if the procedure has to be done at Wadia hospital then she may be permitted to at least select the hospital of her own choice. She also submitted an affidavit by Cloudnine Hospital stating that it has the requisite approval from the civic body to carry out termination procedures and also the required facilities. 

Private Hospital Granted Approval For Late-Term Pregnancy Termination

Considering the peculiar facts of the case, the bench allowed the woman to undergo termination procedure at the private hospital. 

The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act restricts terminations beyond 24 weeks to cases of severe foetal abnormalities, typically performed only in government hospitals. The same can be done following an order from the court. Also, the termination has to be done only at government hospitals or government-approved institutions. 

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