Mumbai: Relying on reports of medical boards of KEM and JJ hospitals, the Bombay high court has allowed a 13-year-old raped girl and a 27-yearold woman from the city to undergo abortion in the 26th week of pregnancy. Since the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act in India does not allow abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, both parties had moved the high court through their advocate Meenaz Kakalia.
In the case of the 13 year old, the court had constituted a board of medical experts from KEM Hospital, who examined her on December 2 and opined that allowing the “25 weeks and 3 day” old pregnancy to continue may cause additional pregnancy-induced hypertension and may lead to maternal mortality. “Considering her age, the trauma she has suffered because of sexual abuse and the agony she is going through at present and the report of experts, we do not feel medical termination should be disallowed,” said the bench in its order passed on the lines of a similar case by the Supreme Court in September.
In the other case, the 27-year-old’s foetus was detected in the 23 week with multiple skeletal, spinal and neurological deformities. On November 23, 2017, it was confirmed that the foetus had “Arnold-Chiari malformation”. The JJ Hospital medical board which examined her twice over the weekend said the over 25 weeks “foetus fulfils the criteria of substantial risk of serious physical handicap and the risk of termination at this stage remains the same as natural labour at term”.
In their order, the judges said if the foetus is allowed to be born, it will risk lifelong serious physical handicap. They allowed the woman to undergo MTP considering that it is her fundamental right under Article 21(Right to Life) to live a life of dignity as guaranteed under it. They asked both petitioners to remain present at the respective hospitals on Wednesday so that the MTP can be done within a day or two.