SC allows woman to abort 24-week pregnancy

The Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed a 22-year-old woman to terminate her 24-week pregnancy on the ground that it would endanger her life. The law prohibits termination of pregnancy after 20 weeks, even if there is a fatal risk to the mother and the foetus.

A bench of Justices SA Bobde and L Nagesewara Rao went by the opinion of the King Edward Memorial (KEM) medical board it had constituted on February 5 to examine her health condition.

According to the board, apart from the fact that the foetus suffered various anomalies — shrunken lungs and lacks kidneys (which the petitioner had found out in the 21st week of her pregnancy) — continuing with the pregnancy would endanger the life of the mother.

The bench also relied on earlier verdicts of the apex court and allowed women to terminate her pregnancy. In a separate case, the apex court had on January 16 allowed a Mumbai-based woman, who was in her 24th week of pregnancy, to terminate her pregnancy under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act while taking into consideration the report of a medical board of KEM hospital which had suggested that the foetus would not be able to survive without the skull.