The Supreme Court on Monday allowed a woman from Kolkata to abort her 26-weeks pregnancy, reported news agency PTI. The woman wanted to undergo abortion on grounds of foetus abnormality. The bench of Justice Dipak Misra and M Khanwilkar ruled in favour of the woman and said that the abortion should be carried out ‘forthwith’.
“Keeping in view the report of the medical board, we are inclined to allow the prayer and direct medical termination of pregnancy of petitioner no. 1 (woman),” the bench said.
Earlier on June 23, the apex court bench had constituted a medical board of seven doctors from SSKM hospital in Kolkata to look into the matter. The bench asked medical board to submit a report on mother and foetus’ health by June 29.
The woman, and her husband, had approached the SC requesting permission to go forward with abortion because it may put the life of the mother in danger. A medical report by another doctor had also noted that the child born with such abnormalities may not be able to survive even after the first surgery.
The plea also challenged the constitutional validity of provisions of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act. To this, the court had also sought responses from Centre and State governments on June 21.
“This petition challenges the constitutional validity ofsection 3(2)(b) of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act,1971 (MTP) restricted to the ceiling of 20 weeks stipulatedtherein. This challenge is to the effect that the 20 weekstipulation for a woman to avail of abortion services undersection 3(2)(b) may have been reasonable when the section wasenacted in 1971 but has ceased to be reasonable today wheretechnology has advanced and it is perfectly safe for a womanto abort even up to the 26th week and thereafter,” the petition stated.