NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday recalled its order allowing a 23-year-old woman, who lost her husband in October last year, to terminate her 29-week foetus after considering medical reports on her condition.
On January 4, the HC allowed the woman to abort her pregnancy considering her mental stage and trauma after her husband’s death. The court observed that “the right to reproductive choice also includes the right not to procreate.”
Justice Subramonium Prasad in Tuesday’s order said the request of the petitioner, who is already having 32-week gestation, that foeticide “cannot be accepted” after perusing medical reports of the woman submitted to the court following the previous order.
“The psychiatrist who has evaluated the petitioner has not given any report suggesting that the ongoing pregnancy of the petitioner and delivery will cause a grave injury to her mental health which is necessary for permitting the termination of pregnancy exceeding 20 weeks but not beyond 24 weeks under the MTP Act,” the HC reasoned.
The medical board also opined that since the foetus does not show any abnormality, foeticide in this case is neither justified nor ethical.
Justice Prasad took note of the medical report that a preterm induction of labour has a high chance of failure and may lead to the caesarean section, which may have serious implications on her health.
The report also says a child born after a preterm induction of labour can have physical and mental deficiencies. The HC said it is for the medical board to take a final call.