Woman gets SC nod to abort 26-wk-old fetus


New Delhi:
The Supreme Court on Monday came to the rescue of yet another pregnant woman, permitting her to abort her 26-week fetus suffering from severe abnormalities, reports Amit Anand Chaudhary.

Holding that the right of a woman to have reproductive choice is an “insegregable“ part of her personal liberty guaranteed under the Constitution, a bench of Justices Dipak Misra and A M Khanwilkar allowed the abortion plea of the 33-year old Kolkata woman on the basis of a medical report which said the child, even if born alive, might not survive for long as it would have to go through multiple surgeries due to its congenital disorder. The petitioner, Sarmish tha Chakraborty , appro ached the apex court seeking permission to abort as the fetus was suffering from complex congenital cyanotic heart disease. The court had on June 23 appointed a medical board of seven senior doctors of the Institute of PostGraduate Medical Education & Research (SSKM Hospital), Kolkata, to examine her. The board, after thoroughly examining her, gave its report favouring abortion. Accepting the report, the bench granted her permission to undergo abortion “forthwith“.“In the instant case, the re port of the medical board clearly reveals that the mother shall suffer mental injury if the pregnancy is continued and there will be multiple problems if the child is born alive. That apart, the board has categorically arrived at the conclusion that in a special case of this nature, the pregnancy should be allowed to be terminated after 20 weeks,“ the bench said.

“She has a sacrosanct right to have her bodily integrity. In the case at hand, as we find, unless the pregnancy is allowed to be terminated, the life of the mother as well as that of the baby to be born will be in great danger. Such a situation cannot be countenanced in court,“ the bench said.

The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971, permits abortion till the fetus is 20 weeks old. The proposed amendment to the abortion law, though initiated in 2014, is yet to get the nod of the Union Cabinet.

It intends to extend the permissible period for abortion from 20 weeks to 24 weeks if the healthcare provider believes the pregnancy involves a substantial risk to the mother or child.

`No public interest in PIL’, SC fines Rs 25L

The SC on Monday slapped Rs 25 lakh cost on an activist for filing a PIL challenging the shifting of the mini Vidhan Sabha in Gulbarga district of Karnataka. The apex court said that shifting of mini Vidhan Soudha, an office complex for government was not public interest. A bench of Justice Dipak Misra and A M Khanwilkar said the petition was an abuse of the concept of public interest litigation as it does not espouse any kind of public cause. AGENCIES

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