THE PUNJAB and Haryana High Court on Wednesday in a ruling, rejecting a 24-year-old woman’s plea for termination of her pregnancy, said that it cannot advocate for the termination of a pregnancy on the sole ground that the woman is not in a position to raise the child.
“In any event, this court cannot advocate termination of pregnancy when the same is sought only on the ground that the petitioner is not in a position to raise the child and all the more so, when there are no other mitigating circumstances, such as health issues etc,” read an order passed by Justice Sanjay Kumar.
As per the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, a pregnancy can be terminated by a registered doctor when it does not exceed the 12 week limit and beyond it till 20 weeks, only after seeking the opinion of two doctors. Termination of pregnancies beyond the 20 week limit are only allowed by courts usually only in cases where it becomes necessary to safeguard the life of the pregnant woman.
The woman from Chandigarh, in her plea, was seeking directions for termination of her pregnancy on the ground of it causing grave injury to her mental health. However, the court said it is not reflected from the record “that there are any debilitative health issues either with herself or with the foetus.”
The court further said that the medical report reflects that the gestation period has already crossed 24 weeks. “In such circumstances, this court cannot support the plea of the petitioner to terminate her pregnancy. The reports submitted by PGIMER, Chandigarh, in similar matters puts it beyond doubt that the foetus would be fully formed by this stage and it would neither be in the interest of the petitioner nor of the child to undertake termination of the pregnancy,” the order read.
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