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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Woman has right to terminate her 32-week pregnancy : Bombay HC


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Mumbai: Bombay High Court has said that a woman has the right to choose whether to continue her 32-week pregnancy or not and the decision is hers and she alone to make.

In a recent order by the HC Division Bench of Justices Gautam Patel and S G Dige, a copy of which was made available on Monday, the Judges allowed a married woman to terminate her 32-week pregnancy after the foetus was detected with severe abnormalities.

The court also refused to accept the medical board’s view that even though the foetus has serious abnormalities it should not be terminated as the pregnancy is almost at its fag end.

The woman had approached HC seeking to terminate her pregnancy after a sonography revealed the foetus had severe abnormalities and that the baby would be born with physical and mental disabilities.

“Given a severe foetal abnormality, the length of the pregnancy does not matter. The petitioner has taken an informed decision. It is not an easy one. But that decision is hers, and hers alone to make.

The right to choose is of the petitioner’s. It is not the right of the Medical Board,” the court said in its order.

‘Refusing termination of pregnancy only on grounds of delay would not only be condemning the foetus to a less than optimal life but would also be condemning the mother to a future that will almost certainly rob her of every positive attribute of parenthood,’ the Judges observed.


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