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Permission to abort perfectly healthy late term baby is granted by Bombay High Court

by | Sep 26, 2022

By Dave Andrusko

I had to read this several times to be sure my eyes were not deceiving me.

The Bombay High Court granted permission to a 21 year old woman to abort her 26 week unborn baby “if the baby is not born alive after the procedure.”

Nothing in the stories In Medical Dialogues  and the Times of India suggested the baby posed a risk to the mother or the baby had anomalies. The woman was single, the relationship was consensual, but she said she would suffer mental anguish if she carried her baby to term. 

Because the baby did not fall under the “limitations” of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy  (generally 20-24 weeks  is the latest an abortion is supposedly allowed), the woman took her plea to the Bombay High Court.

That’s when matters became very complex. The medical board at JJ Hospital had said in a September 8th report that the baby was 27 weeks along and an abortion at “this stage will result in a pre-term viable baby requiring intensive care management.”

According to the Times of India, the judges asked for a reexamination having “noticed a discrepancy between the sonography report and the Board’s opinion.”

A September 15th report “mentioned that the woman was 25.4 weeks pregnant,” but the “medical board reiterated the opinion.” 

The woman’s lawyer switched his approach at this juncture. The Medical Termination Pregnancy [MTP] “permits  termination where the cause of the pregnancy was failure of contraceptive device or method,” Rosy Sequeira  reported. “It was argued by the petitioner’s counsel that the board was expected only to opine about the extent of anguish caused to the  petitioner by such pregnancy and no more.”

The bench comprising of Justices Sanjay Gangapurwala and RM Laddha made clear “that they had no problem in allowing the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) if the baby is not born alive,” Brash Mesa reported.

 “The bench clarified that their only concern was the opinion of the Medical board, which had expressed the possibility of a pre-term viable baby,” Sequeira wrote.

The judges then made things crystal clear what would ensue if the baby is not aborted. “The baby born will have to be cared for and it should not happen that the baby is born with some deformity due to premature termination of pregnancy.”

They concluded, “We understand that trauma that the petitioner, an unwed mother, would undergo. At the same time it cannot be lost sight of an alive baby being born and the consequences it would have on the baby if it is prematurely terminate.”

Having assured themselves the baby would be killed in utero, the Bombay high court signed off.

Categories: Abortion
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