Supreme Court permits termination of pregnancy at 24 weeks

Court allowed the termination after a board of seven doctors said there was no chance of the foetus with an undeveloped skull surviving outside the uterus.

Published: 16th January 2017 01:56 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th January 2017 03:14 PM   |  A+A-

Supreme Court | (File Photo/PTI)

By Online Desk

MUMBAI: The Supreme Court permitted a 22-year-old woman in her 24th week of pregnancy to undergo termination of pregnancy after medical reports found the foetus to be without a skull.

The woman had found out about the defect in the 21st week of gestation when she had a sonography done at a private clinic in the western suburbs of Mumbai.

Under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971, abortion is legal in India only up to 20 weeks of pregnancy provided it involves a risk to the life of the pregnant woman or poses a threat of grave injury to physical or mental health, or involves a substantial risk that if the child were born it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities.

Recently, in a rare judgment, the Supreme Court permitted a rape survivor to terminate her pregnancy at 24 weeks.

The Supreme Court had asked the same committee of doctors from KEM Hospital that had given its opinion in the rape survivor’s case in July 2016, to look into the current case.

An amendment drafted in 2014 to a 1971 Act sought to increase the abortion time limit from 20 weeks to 24 weeks. Additionally, the draft bill also recommends that termination be allowed without a time limit in cases where doctors detect a foetal anomaly.

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