New Delhi: Giving benefit of a provision in the abortion law, the Supreme Court today allowed a rape survivor to abort her 24-week-old ‘abnormal’ foetus, on the ground that continuance of pregnancy would gravely endanger her physical and mental health.
The apex court gave benefit of the exception in law under section 5 of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971, which allows abortion after 20 weeks only in case if there is grave danger to the life of a mother.
“The medical board has opined that the continuance of pregnancy would gravely endanger the physical and mental health of the mother. We are satisfied with the diagnosis and it is permissible to terminate the pregnancy as per section 5 of Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971.
“We grant liberty to the petitioner and if she desires to terminate the pregnancy, she is permitted,” a bench comprising Justice J S Khehar and Arun Mishra said.
During the hearing, a report of seven member medical board of King Edward Memorial College and Hospital at Mumbai which has diagnosed the health of the woman was tabled before the bench in a sealed cover.
The apex court said that the medical board has found serious abnormalities in the foetus which is around 24 weeks old and has opined grave risk to the mother’s life if pregnancy is allowed to continue.
It said that board has recommended that the termination of pregnancy can be done.
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi appearing for the Centre said that their is exception under section 5 of the Medical Termination Act, 1971 and ceiling of 20 weeks pregnancy under section 3 of the Act will not apply in this case as there is risk to mother’s life. .