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Delhi HC Allows Plea Seeking Termination of 23 Weeks Old Pregnancy Due To Abnormalities In Foetus

Karan Tripathi
14 July 2020 4:19 PM GMT
Delhi HC Allows Plea Seeking Termination of 23 Weeks Old Pregnancy Due To Abnormalities In Foetus
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Delhi High Court has allowed the plea moved by a woman seeking termination of her 23 weeks old pregnancy on the ground of abnormalities and comorbidities in the foetus.

In the previous hearing, the court had directed the Dean of All India Institute Of Medical Sciences to constitute a Committee of Experts to examine the impact of termination of pregnancy on the health of the Petitioner and submit a report.

Today, the Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan allowed the Petitioner to go ahead with the termination of her pregnancy after relying upon the Expert Committee Report.

The Expert Committee in its report has confirmed that the foetus of the Petitioner is facing abnormalities and comorbidities and the termination of pregnancy will not adversely impact the health of the Petitioner

Moving an urgent plea for termination of pregnancy under sections 3(2) and 5 of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971, the Petitioner had submitted that her pregnancy has reached the 23rd gestational week and the foetus suffers from spinal and cardiac defects that makes it improbable for the foetus to survive, causing extreme trauma to the Petitioner.

The Petitioner had further submitted that if her plea is not addressed urgently, it will cause severe health complications to her.

The Petitioner had also challenged the validity of section 3(2) of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act which restricts the right to terminate pregnancy to 20 gestational weeks.

It was argued that the said restriction is both archaic and arbitrary as most of the abnormalities in a foetus become discoverable only after the 20th week.

The Petitioner had also challenged Section 5 of the Act so far as it states 'the termination of such pregnancy is immediately necessary to save the life of the woman', as being violative of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution.

It was argued that the said provision is unconstitutional as it doesn't recognise the physical and mental health, and well being of the women as being part of the expression 'life.'

Petitioner in this case is being represented by Ms Sneha Mukherjee

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