In a landmark move, the Supreme court on January 16 allowed a woman to abort a 24-week-old abnormal foetus. It must be noted that the law does not permit abortion older than 20 weeks.
The top court reportedly said that it was allowing the 22-year-old Mumbai woman to abort her abnormal foetus because it posed threat to her life. The decision came in response to a petition filed by Kolkata woman seeking permission to terminate her pregnancy.
Asserting that the woman had the right to protect her life, the apex court asserted that the court was allowing her to terminate the pregnancy after a complete diagnosis from a team seven doctors.
In her petition, the woman asserted that the law which does not allow a woman to abort a foetus which is more than 20 weeks old was “unreasonable” and “discriminatory.” Tthe foetus had an undeveloped skull surviving outside the uterus. However, the doctors refused to conduct abortion because the foetus was beyond 20 weeks old.
If any person violates the law and terminates pregnancy which is more than 20 weeks old may have to serve an imprisonment of over seven years. However, the law could be modified if the pregnancy endangered the mother’s life. Now, it is the same team of doctors who conducted the diagnosis will conduct the abortion process.
Last year, the Bombay High Court had extended the choice of willful abortion to couples in live-in relationships and amended the 45-year-old provision. The judgement came in as recognition of rising number of couples who are in live-in relationships though not married.