The Supreme Court Tuesday granted permission to a Mumbai couple to undergo abortion in the 24th week after a KEM Hospital report confirmed that the foetus had no kidneys and had no chances of survival after birth. The petitioner is a 24-year-old Mumbai suburban resident, her husband is a 30-year-old man and this is their second child.
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Observing that there is no option but to medically terminate the pregnancy, the court granted the woman relief under Section 5 of Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act.
According to her petition, the woman was in her 21st week when the foetal growth anomaly termed as bilateral renal agenesis was diagnosed. The condition means absence or failure of both kidneys to develop in body. This also causes deficiency in amniotic fluid that can cause further malformations in baby. According to doctors, a baby with this anomaly cannot survive for more than four hours after birth.
Under the MTP Act, abortion is capped until 20 weeks of pregnancy. In previous two cases where the apex court granted permission to abort after 20 weeks, a relief was given under Section 5 of MTP Act.
On Tuesday, the couple finally breathed a sign of relief. Last week they had undergone diagnosis at KEM Hospital which submitted a report to the apex court.
“The court recognised the right of the women to decide whether she wanted to give birth to the baby,” said Advocate Sneha Mukherjee, from Human Rights Law Network, that represented the petitioner.
Mukherjee said the court has directed KEM Hospital to conduct the abortion procedure.