SC rejects woman's plea seeking direction to terminate over 25-week pregnancy

The apex court however refrained from making public the reasons for its decision on rejecting the abortion plea in order to protect the wome's privacy.
Supreme Court of India
Supreme Court of IndiaFile Photo | PTI

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has recently in its order dismissed a plea filed by a woman seeking a direction to terminate her over 25-week pregnancy, but it refrained from making public the reasons for its decision to protect her privacy.

A two-judge vacation bench of the top court, led by Justice Abhay S Oka and Justice Satish Chandra Sharma, perused the report submitted by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on May 24, in the case, and refused to allow the plea of the woman to terminate her 25-week pregnancy.

"We are not quoting what is mentioned in the report (of the AIIMS) for protecting the privacy of the petitioner," the apex court said in its order.

Taking into record the medical report of AIIMS, the court said, we couldn't permit termination of pregnancy in the facts of the case.

"The report shall remain on record in a sealed envelope. The writ petition is rejected," the apex court said.

Her lawyer desperately pleaded to the apex court to give her a direction to terminate her pregnancy on the ground that she came from Dubai and was currently staying in a hotel here. "She is not that financially strong," the advocate told the top court. But it did not grant any relief.

The woman, in her plea, claimed that she came to know about her pregnancy only on May 17.

Earlier in the last date of the hearing, the apex court had asked the AIIMS to submit a report on the woman before it by May 24 regarding the "physical health of the petitioner (woman) as well as of the foetus and its impact on the former's unwanted pregnancy".

In India, the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, allows aborting a foetus of more than 24 weeks old, only in cases of substantial foetal abnormality as diagnosed and suggested and recommended by a medical board of experts or if an opinion is formed in good faith to save the life of the pregnant woman.

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