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Punjab and Haryana High Court allows termination of 24-week pregnancy

As per the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, a pregnancy can be terminated by a registered doctor when it does not exceed the 12 weeks limit and beyond it till 20 weeks, it can only be allowed after seeking the opinion of two doctors.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh |
Updated: September 7, 2019 1:02:35 pm
Punjab and Haryana HC allows termination of 24-week pregnancy The single bench in the order further said the Medical Board is chaired by a doctor none other than the head of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department, adding, under such circumstances it would be difficult for the court to refuse permission to the woman for termination of the pregnancy. (Source: File)

THE PUNJAB and Haryana High Court has allowed a woman’s request for termination of pregnancy of more than 24 weeks after she approached the court in view of the legal embargo on abortion of a pregnancy which crosses 20 weeks. The termination has been allowed keeping in view the medical condition of the foetus.

“The Director, PGIMER, Chandigarh is requested to get the pregnancy of xx terminated under the supervision of the head of the Department (Obstetrics and Gynecology), PGIMER, Chandigarh,” read the order passed by a single bench, adding all necessary facilities for undertaking such procedure be given to the patient, who is from Fatehgarh Sahib.

As per the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, a pregnancy can be terminated by a registered doctor when it does not exceed the 12 weeks limit and beyond it till 20 weeks, it can only be allowed after seeking the opinion of two doctors. The pregnancy beyond the 20 weeks limit is only allowed by the courts usually only in those cases where it becomes necessary to safeguard the life of the pregnant woman. A Permanent Medical Board has already been constituted at PGI to examine such cases where the gestation period is in excess of 20 weeks.

The medical board in the Fatehgarh woman’s case gave a finding that the foetus has several congenital anomaly and it “is not likely to survive as this congenital anomaly is not compatible with life”. The team of 11 doctors including the chairperson recommended the termination of the pregnancy on August 30.

The single bench in the order further said the Medical Board is chaired by a doctor none other than the head of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department, adding, under such circumstances it would be difficult for the court to refuse permission to the woman for termination of the pregnancy. “There would be no basis for this court to not accept the recommendations made by the Permanent Medical Board and the constitution of which was approved by the Director, PGIMER, Chandigarh,” read the order.

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