New Delhi, Feb 7: The Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed a 22-year-old woman to terminate her 24-weeks pregnancy on the ground that it would endanger her life. A bench of Justices S A Bobde and L Nagesewara Rao perused the opinion of the medical board it had constituted to examine her health condition.
The bench said in view of the opinion of Mumbai-based King Edward Memorial (KEM) Hospital's medical board, it will be appropriate to allow the woman to terminate her pregnancy. The board has opined that the foetus besides suffering various anomalies, has shrunken lungs and lacks kidneys and continuing with the pregnancy would endanger the life of the mother.
The bench also relied on earlier verdicts of the apex court and allowed the prayer of woman to terminate her pregnancy. On February 5, the apex court had constituted a medical board to examine the "condition and advisability" of permitting medical termination of her pregnancy.
She had approached the apex court seeking permission to terminate her pregnancy contending that the foetus does not have kidneys, besides having multiple anomalies. The law prohibits termination of pregnancy after 20 weeks, even if there is a fatal risk to the mother and the foetus. "The petitioner found out in the 21st week of her pregnancy that the foetus doesn't have kidneys. She had to undergo two scans before this could be established and the foetus has multiple anomalies," she had said in her petition.
The medical board constituted by the bench consisted of doctors from the departments of psychiatry, obstetrics and gynaecology, medicine, radiology and anaesthesia. In a separate case, the apex court had on January 16 allowed a Mumbai-based woman, who was in her 24th week of pregnancy, to terminate her pregnancy under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act while taking into consideration the report of a medical board of KEM Hospital which had suggested that the foetus would not be able to survive without the skull.