A 26-weeks pregnant woman from Kolkata has been granted permission by the Supreme Court to abort her foetus with special medical considerations on Monday.
Citing Article 21 of the Constitution, the apex court ruled that a woman has sacrosanct right over her bodily integrity and the decision to choose whether she should have a child or not, according to News18.
The woman and her husband had filed a plea to the SC for permission to undergo an abortion owing to severe cardiac abnormalities borne by the foetus, which could prove fatal for the mother.
The direction by the bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra and M Khanwilkar followed after inspection of the report provided by the medical board and the SSKM Hospital.
“Keeping in view the report of the medical board, we are inclined to allow the prayer and direct medical termination of pregnancy of the primary petitioner,” the bench said, according to Money Control.
The report advised the termination of pregnancy on the grounds that continuation of pregnancy would not only put the mother at risk with implications of ‘severe mental injury’ but the child as well, who if born alive, would have to toil through multiple surgeries for severe cardiac ailments.
The bench motioned that the procedure of termination of pregnancy should be carried out forthwith at the SSKM Hospital in Kolkata.
This isn’t the first time such a scenario has occurred. Earlier this year, a 22-year-old woman from Thane was allowed by the SC to undergo abortion in the 24th week of her pregnancy.
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A similar exceptional case occurred in 2016 when a Mumbai woman was granted permission by SC to undergo abortion in her 24th week.
The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 (MTP) that restricts an abortion in case of a foetal abnormality to 20 weeks of pregnancy is one of the most debated acts in the country. Section 5 of the Act allows abortion after 20 weeks in case it ‘is immediately necessary to save the life of the pregnant woman.