The Delhi High Court has allowed a pregnant woman to undergo a medical abortion due to excessive malformation in the fetus. The petitioner had filed a petition for permission for abortion claiming that the fetus was suffering from abnormalities of the heart and its chances of survival were limited.
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has allowed a pregnant woman to undergo a medical abortion due to severe malformation of the fetus and said that choosing to give birth to a child is a dimension of personal liberty, enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution.
The woman is 28 weeks pregnant.
Justice Jyoti Singh, while allowing the woman’s plea for an abortion, held that allowing the continuance of the pregnancy would have prejudicial effect on the mental health of the petitioner and that she would be at liberty to decide whether to continue the pregnancy or not in view of the opinion of the Medical Board. cannot be deprived.
The judge said that according to medical experts, the chances of the fetus leading a healthy and normal life are very slim. After birth, the baby will need to have heart surgery early in life and again in adolescence or puberty, leaving his entire life dependent on medical conditions and medical care.
The court, in the order issued on December 31, also said that the infant may face health problems during delivery and even after birth, which will adversely affect its quality of life.
The court allowed the petitioner to get the abortion done at the medical facility of her choice and recorded that the medical board constituted in the case has informed the couple about the possible complications of the abortion procedure at this stage.
“Giving birth to a child is an aspect of a woman’s reproductive rights and a dimension of her personal liberty, which is enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution of India,” the court said. Thus, the liberty of the petitioner to decide whether to continue the pregnancy or not cannot be denied to the petitioner in the background of fetal abnormalities detected in the examination of the Medical Board.
The court clarified, “It is for the petitioner to take the final decision on whether to undergo the process of medical termination of pregnancy, which will be at her own risk and consequences.”
In the present case, the fetus is suffering from a serious problem, which includes a hole in its heart as well as a poorly developed valve that protects the blood vessel that carries blood from the right side of the heart to the lungs.
The petitioner, appearing for advocate Sneha Mukherjee, had filed a petition in the court in December for grant of abortion under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, claiming that the fetus was suffering from abnormalities of the heart and had to survive. The possibility is limited.
After this, on December 22, the court had asked AIIMS to constitute a medical board at the earliest to examine the woman.
The petitioner had argued that not allowing her medical abortion would put her under financial, emotional as well as physical stress.
(with input from news agency language)
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