NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has allowed a woman to medically terminate her over 24-week pregnancy as the deformities of the foetus are likely to be incompatible with life and chances of survival of the unborn child are”very remote”.
The high court noted that the medical board constituted to examine the 24-year-old woman, has counseled her about the risks involved in termination of pregnancy, and also opined that she is physically and psychologically fit to undergo the medical process.
“In the light of the aforesaid, once the medical board has clearly opined that the deformities of the petitioner’s (woman) foetus are likely to be incompatible with life and in case the pregnancy is carried to term, the chances of survival of the unborn child are very remote, as also the fact that the petitioner is found to be both physically and psychologically fit to undergo medical termination of her pregnancy, I am of the considered view that the petition deserves to be allowed,” Justice Rekha Palli said.
The court permitted the woman to undergo the procedure of medical termination of her pregnancy at the hospital here, where she is already undergoing treatment.
It also appreciated the proactive steps taken by the hospital in expeditiously constituting the medical board in terms of the court’s earlier order.
The court noted that as per the medical board’s report, it is evident that non-functioning of kidneys of the foetus is likely to be associated with lung hypoplasia, which as per the medical opinion, is likely to be incompatible with life.
The court disposed of the petition filed by the woman, through advocate Sneha Mukherjee, seeking permission to undergo medical termination of her over 24 weeks pregnancy under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act.
As per the petition, the foetus is found to be suffering from multicystic dysplastic kidneys, that is, abnormal foetal development of the kidneys resulting in multiple irregular cysts of varying sizes which fact came to the woman’s knowledge when she got an ultrasound done on September 21.
It said that even if the pregnancy is taken to its logical conclusion, there is a substantial risk that the child if born, is likely to suffer from grave long-term morbidities, and therefore, she ought to be permitted to undergo medical termination of her pregnancy.
In January last year, the Union cabinet had approved the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020, which provides for enhancing the upper gestation limit from 20 to 24 weeks for special categories of women including survivors of rape, a victim of incest, and other vulnerable women, like differently-abled and minors.