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SC Permits Abortion Of 25-Weeks-Old Fetus With Neurological Disorder [Read Order]

The Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed a 26 year-old woman to abort a 25-weeks-old fetus, noting that it was diagnosed with a neurological disorder that causes absence of major portion of the skull and scalp.

A medical report prepared by a board of Sir JJ Hospital in Mumbai had submitted before the Court that the foetus had anencephaly – a condition where the baby is born without parts of the skull.

“After going through the Ultrasonography reports, Committee is of opinion that there is no point to continue the pregnancy as fetus has ANENCEPHALY which is non-compatible with life and continuation of pregnancy shall pose severe mental injury to her,” the report submitted by the Board had said.

Taking note of these findings, the Bench comprising Justice S.A. Bobde and Justice L. Nageswara Rao permitted the abortion, observing, “…it is reported that the continuation of pregnancy can pose severe mental injury to the petitioner and no additional risk to the petitioner’s life is involved if she is allowed to undergo termination of her pregnancy. In the circumstances, we consider it appropriate in the interests of justice and particularly, to permit the petitioner to undergo medical termination of her pregnancy under the provisions of Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971.”

It, thereafter, ordered the procedure to be performed by the doctors of the hospital where she had undergone check-up. It further directed that the abortion be supervised by the Medical Board, which shall maintain complete record of the process.

Read the Order Here

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