ANOTHER Mumbai couple has petitioned the Supreme Court for relief under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, 1971, after a diagnostic test found their foetus had no kidneys and would not be able to survive. The hearing is for Friday.
This is the third such case in the span of a year. The SC made an exception last July to allow a rape victim to undergo abortion after 20 weeks of gestation. In January this year, a Dombivli resident had filed a similar petition and was granted relief.
In the latest case, the petitioner is a 24-year-old Mumbai resident. Her husband is a 30-year-old man. This is their second child. According to her petition, she was in her 21st week when the foetal growth anomaly termed as bilateral renal agencies 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 a baby.
According to doctors, a baby with this anomaly cannot survive for more than four hours after birth.The couple was regularly going for sonography scans. Such a diagnosis is usually detected after 18 weeks of gestation. “In their case, they delayed this particular scan. By the time the reports came, she was 21 weeks pregnant,” an official said.
Under the MTP Act, abortion is capped until 20 weeks of pregnancy. Sarita Barpanda from the Human Rights Law Network, who is representing the woman, said: “We are hoping the court will expedite the matter and take a medical opinion on this soon,” she said. According to Dr Nikhil Datar, who has filed a writ petition for amending the MTP Act, more such cases are expected to come up with rising awareness.