In a unusual verdict, the Supreme Court on Monday allowed a Mumbai-based woman to undergo termination as the foetus does not have a skull. The woman is in her 24th week of pregnancy.
A bench of Justices S A Bobde and L Nageswara Rao allowed a 22-year-old woman to terminate her pregnancy taking her medical report into consideration. The medical board of King Edward Memorial hospital in Mumbai suggested that the foetus would not be able to survive without the skull and requested for abortion.
"We consider it appropriate and in the interest of justice, particularly the right of the petitioner to preserve her life by permitting her to undergo the termination of pregnancy under the Medical Termination Of Pregnancy Act," the bench said.
The bench also directed that the termination of pregnancy should be performed in the presence of a team of doctors of the hospital who should maintain a complete record of the termination procedure.
Referring to the report of the seven-member medical board, the bench said, "The medical evidence clearly suggests that there is no point in allowing the petitioner to run in full course since the foetus would not be able to survive outside the uterus without a skull."
The woman had approached the apex court asking permission to undergo the abortion because of the abnormalities in the foetus.
As per Indian law, abortion is not permitted after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
BY M. DIVYA SRI