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Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Punjab: HC allows 21-year-old’s plea for termination of pregnancy amid lockdown

A 21-year-old woman and her husband in the petition on Wednesday informed the court that the foetus has shown symptoms of Down Syndrome which will cause both physical and mental handicap to the child at birth.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh | Updated: April 24, 2020 7:22:09 pm
Punjab court, pregnancy termination, 24 week pregnancy termination, Punjab Haryana high court, down syndrome, pregnancy rules, indian express As per the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, a pregnancy can be terminated by a registered doctor before exceeding the 12-week limit.

ALLOWING A Sangrur woman’s petition seeking termination of pregnancy, the Punjab and Haryana High Court Friday directed the PGI Chandigarh to admit the woman forthwith for the procedure and asked it to treat it as a case of poor patient in accordance with applicable policy.

“Petitioner No. 1 be admitted forthwith after taking all precautions required due to COVID-19 pandemic. The procedure be performed at the earliest,” Justice Sudhir Mittal said in the order.

A 21-year-old woman and her husband from Sangrur, in the petition filed through Legal Aid Counsel Sanjeev Sharma on Wednesday, had informed the court that the foetus has shown symptoms of Downs Syndrome which will cause both physical and mental handicap to the child at birth. The Permanent Medical Board of the PGI was asked to examine the woman.

She had to approach the HC as the pregnancy was 24 weeks old. The pregnancy beyond the 20 weeks is only allowed to be terminated by the courts.

The PGI in the report placed before the High Court on Friday said that termination of the pregnancy is possible without endangering the life of the mother. The Court accepted the recommendation.

“I have been informed that the petitioners are people of limited means and are unable to afford the aforementioned procedure. Thus, respondent No. 2 (PGI) is directed to treat the case as one of a poor patient and give all assistance available for such patients as per policy of the respondent no. 2,” reads the order further.

The petition was first case to be handled by the High Court Legal Services Committee since the lockdown was announced.

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