Mehtas' cannot abort 24-week old baby: Bombay HC

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Mumbai, Aug 3: The Bombay High Court on Monday, Aug 4 disallowed abortion of 24-week old baby of Mehta couple. HC said that there is no evidence that child will be born handicapped. There is no suffecient evidence to support the abortion plea. Petitioners didn't say the case is exceptional, Court added. Niketa Mehta challenged the Indian Penal code to take a fresh look at it's 37-year-old abortion control law by filing a case seeking abortion of her 24 week old foetus as it has a congenital heart disease.

Niketa Mehta Case

Niketa Mehta is 24 weeks pregnant but she wants to abort because the foetus has been diagnosed with a congenital heart problem. According to the law, pregnancy cannot be terminated after the twentieth week unless there is a health risk for the mother.

“I am firm that I don't want this baby because the baby will suffer after the birth. My suffering and my family's suffering is another story," says Niketa.

Doctors say the probability of the foetus surviving nine months is very low and even if the child is born he or she will have to be fitted with a pacemaker, which will have to be replaced after every four years.

However, medical experts are of the opinion that by doing so Niketa is also putting herself at risk in the process.

Governement run JJ hospital filed it's report on the foetus condition to the court. According to the Indian law, Niketa was expected to have had the abortion before she entered her 20th week of pregnancy. But Niketa is seeking to change the very existing law saying that she could not risk the life of her child.

The government hospital in its earlier report to the Court had said that there is a fairly good chance that the child will be born incapacitated and handicapped. But on Monday, Aug 4, the hospital contradicted the same. The initial report also added that the Sonogram shows that Niketa's foetus has a complete heart blockage with low ventricular rate.

The foetus also has a major artery that is dispositioned, however the report did mention that there was no other damage to the heart that is yet visible. And barring any other such anamolies the child can have a normal life with a pacemaker in childhood which has to be replaced in adulthood.

OneIndia News

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