Delhi HC allows woman’s plea on pregnancy termination in 28th week
The Delhi high court allowed a women`s plea seeking termination of pregnancy in the 28th week. The women sought termination after a medical report stated that the fetus suffered from anencephaly (skull bone not formed).
The Division Bench of Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh allowed the woman’s plea to terminate her fetus suffering from anencephaly.
Last week, the court had asked AIIMS to constitute a doctors’ panel to examine the medical condition of the petitioner as the fetus being carried by her is suffering from serious abnormalities.
According to the petition, it has challenged the constitutional validity of section 3 (2) (b) of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 (MTP) restricted to the ceiling of 20 weeks stipulated therein.
“This challenge is to the effect that the 20 weeks stipulation for a woman to avail of abortion services under section 3(2) (b) may have been reasonable when the section was enacted in 1971 but has ceased to be reasonable today where technology has advanced and it is perfectly safe for a woman to abort at any point during the entire period of pregnancy,” the plea said.
“Secondly, determination of fetal abnormality in many cases can only be done after the 20th week and by keeping the ceiling artificially low, women who obtain reports of serious fetal abnormality after the 20th week have to suffer excruciating pain and agony because of the deliveries that they are forced to go through. The ceiling of 20 weeks is therefore arbitrary, harsh, discriminatory and violative of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India,” it added.
The plea also added that the woman’s physical and mental health has been put at serious risk because of the 20-week time limit in Section 2(b) of the MTP Act.