The Bombay High Court has allowed a writ petition filed by a 26-week pregnant woman due to several skeletal and neurological abnormalities in the foetus.
A division bench of Justice SS Kemkar and Justice GS Kulkarni issued notices to respondents Union of India and others on November 3 after constituting a committee of experts from Sir JJ Groups of Hospitals, Mumbai.
The committee submitted its opinion dated November 4 after examining the petitioner. In the report, the committee confirmed serious neurological and skeletal abnormalities in the foetus, which was 25 weeks and 6 days old at the time.
There are high chances of meningitis, mental retardation, paralysis of lower limbs and loss of urine and bowel control, the report stated.
The court also noted that other experts from the Department of Pediatrics and the Department of Cardiovascular Surgery held the same view after examination of the petitioner.
Therefore, the court said: “It is certain that if the petitioner's foetus is allowed to born, there is risk that it would suffer from lifelong serious physical handicap, which cannot be avoided. It appears that the baby will certainly not grow any further.
In view of the above peculiar situation and having due regard to the fundamental rights conferred on the petitioner under Article 21 of the Constitution of India to live life of dignity, it will be appropriate and in the interest of justice to permit the petitioner to undergo the medical termination of pregnancy under the provisions of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act,1971.”