Hearing of plea challenging MTP Act adjourned

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Mumbai, Aug 1 (UNI) The Bombay High Court today adjourned till August 4 the hearing of a petition challenging the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act as the opinion submitted by the Government Medical expert was not clear on it.

The report of a committee of doctors of J J Hospital, who had examined a 25-week pregnant woman who wishes to terminate the pregnancy after doctors attending her discovered that her unborn child is suffering from a congenital heart condition, was tabled before the division bench of Justice J N Patel and Justice K K Tatde.

The bench was apparently confused after going through the report and sent it for further opinion.

The court had earlier sought medical opnion on it during the hearing of the plea moved by a couple, residing at Bhayendar in Thane district. They have identified themselves in court papers as only Mr X and Mrs Y.

The woman, who is expecting her first child, found out only in the twenty-fourth week of her pregnancy that the foetus had a congenital heart block. Doctors told her that the child would need a pacemaker right from the time of birth and the quality of its life would be poor.

The gynaecologist of the petitioner, Dr Nikhil Datar, who has also intervened in the petition, had told the court that some ailments in the foetus are detected only between the 20th and the 24th week of pregnancy.

However, according to the current law, pregnancy cannot be terminated beyond 20 weeks.

The petition, besides challanging the Act, has also sought permission to amend the MTP Act, regarding termination of pregnancy in exceptional cases beyond the stipulated period, if the mother faces a fatal risk.

Considering the fact that an abortion at this advanced stage is illegal, the medical practitioners refused to abort the child.

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