The Supreme Court on Monday allowed a woman from West Bengal to abort her 26-week pregnancy on grounds that the foetus is suffering from severe cardiac abnormalities.
According to News18, the apex court, while passing its order, said that a woman has the sacrosanct right over her bodily integrity and this right is recognised under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. The court also said that a woman has the right to choose whether or not she should have a child.
The SC took into account the report prepared by a medical board which looked into the case and observed that carrying the pregnancy to term could prove fatal for the mother. It also noted that the child, if born, was likely to be born with severe deformities.
The SC bench, consisting of Justice Dipak Misra and M Khanwilkar, said that the process of termination of pregnancy should begin "forthwith" at SSKM Hospital in Kolkata, Money Control reported.
"Keeping in view the report of the medical board, we are inclined to allow the prayer and direct medical termination of pregnancy of petitioner no. 1 (woman)," the bench said.
It also said that the woman would suffer "severe mental injury" if she continued the pregnancy.
The seven-member medical board had examined the expectant mother in pursuance to the June 23 order of the apex court.
The court then set up the panel of doctors to examine and ascertain the medical condition of the expectant mother, who sought termination of her then 24-week pregnancy.
The parents also challenged the constitutional validity of Section 3(2)(b) of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971, that prohibits termination of pregnancy beyond 20 weeks.
They contended that restriction could have been reasonable in 1971 when the law was enacted, but today with technological advancement, it was perfectly safe to undergo medical termination of pregnancy even up to 26 weeks.
With IANS inputs