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Indian court allows woman to abort her 35 week old unborn child

by | Feb 18, 2022

By Dave Andrusko

In a stunning decision, the Calcutta High Court on Thursday allowed a woman to abort an almost full-term unborn baby because the child has spina bifida. The mother is 35 weeks pregnant.

Normally, Indian law allows a pregnant woman to undergo abortions up to 24 weeks after which she needs permission of a court.

“While pronouncing its judgement, the court took into consideration the report of a nine-member medical board of the SSKM Hospital in the eastern city of Kolkata,” Maroosha Muzaffar reported. “Justice Rajasekhar Mantha said the medical board’s report made it clear and explicit that there were remote chances of the child surviving or even leading a normal life.”

The story treats conditions typically associated with spina bifida— where the developing baby’s spinal cord fails to develop or close properly while in the womb–with the inability to survive with “remote chances” at leading a normal life as if they were interchangeable.

For example, Justice Rajasekhar Mantha “added that the team of doctors at the hospital had mentioned in the report that if the child is born with the help of any kind of medical intervention, it is likely to develop severe impairments and long-term ailments. The report had also said that the child, if born, would have ‘limited mortality.’”

There is no explanation why the mother waited until she was near-term or how she learned of her baby’s condition. 

Also an abortion that late is complicated surgery with real risks to the mother. The court seemed to recognize this. 

The court, however, made the woman and her husband submit an undertaking that they would not blame anyone in case there are complications following the abortion.

“My clients have told the court that they are responsible if there is any problem in abortion,” the woman’s lawyer told News18. “Who doesn’t want to be a mother? But the decision is based on the danger to the life of the mother and the dark future of the 35-week-old foetus.”

In other words, they wouldn’t hold the abortionist liable for “any problems,” including to the mother.

Obviously the child was viable. He, or she, is being aborted for one reason: they have spina bifida.

According to the Spina Bifida Resource Center

Remember, this congenital problem can be mild or severe. Some patients may have disability which is not noticeable and few of them may have prominent problems or disabilities. They may be paralyzed and may not be able to walk, but with the proper care and encouragement their life can be changed.

Categories: Abortion
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