May 28, 2019 3:25:06 am
The Bombay High Court on Monday said it is the state government’s responsibility to take care of an infant in cases where the parents have expressed an unwillingness to care for the child.
A vacation bench of Justice Bharati Dangre and Justice N J Jamadar was hearing a petition filed by a 29-year-old woman and her live-in partner seeking permission to abort her 28-week pregnancy after they learnt that the foetus had developed brain abnormalities.
Last week, the court had requested the J J Hospital Medical Board to opine on the mother’s health and submit a report on whether the medical termination of pregnancy should be done immediately or should she wait until the delivery.
On Monday, however, the couple’s lawyer Prosper D’Souza told the court that the woman was admitted to Sion Hospital on Sunday, and that she had delivered a boy. The lawyer also told the court that the child’s health is critical and he is in neo-natal intensive care unit.
Justice Dangre said in cases where parents are unwilling to take care of the child, the state will have to take responsibility and bear expenses. The judge also made the observation in the light of the April 3 order passed by the HC.
A division bench had held that if the court allows a pregnant woman to terminate a pregnancy beyond the 20th week, but in the event that the foetus is developed and the woman gives birth, the state government will have to take full responsibility for the child as the parents wanted to terminate the pregnancy.
D’Souza further sought to amend the petition and also requested to include Sion Hospital as a respondent so that a direction can be issued to them to take care of the child and take further action as per procedure. The bench posted the matter for further hearing on June 6.
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