NRL News

Bombay High Court rejects 26 week abortion

by | Jul 7, 2020

By Dave Andrusko

Judging by a series of recent decisions, a 38-year-old married Indian woman probably assumed the Bombay High Court would authorize an abortion because of “her advanced age” and “unpreparedness for the pregnancy.”

But on Tuesday, the court said no.

In theory, under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, abortions past 20 weeks are rare. They have become more common.

According to OutLook India, a May 14 sonogram revealed the woman was 18 weeks pregnant. She would now be approximately 26 weeks along.

“However, the woman filed her plea seeking permission to terminate the pregnancy only on June 15, the court noted in its order,” Outlook India reported. “The woman told HC she approached it late due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown.”

In their decision, a bench comprised of Justices Ujjal Bhuyan and RI Chagla wrote

“We are of the considered view that the reasons given for medical termination of pregnancy beyond the statutory limit, that the petitioner and her family are in no condition financially and/or that the petitioner would be of an advanced age of 39 years and not be mentally prepared to be a mother are not valid grounds for termination of pregnancy under the said Act.”

Outlook India reported that the unnamed woman

cited several previous judgments of Bombay HC and the Supreme Court where women were permitted to terminate pregnancies even after the 20-week limit on account of their mental wellbeing.

The bench, however, said such permissions were granted in specific cases where the courts felt that continuing such pregnancy could cause lifelong mental anguish to a petitioner, or it could harm the welfare of the child to be born.

Categories: Abortion