The Delhi High Court on Tuesday allowed an eight-month-pregnant woman to undergo medical termination of pregnancy.
In her petition, the 26-year-old woman mentioned that a cerebral abnormality was found in the foetus.
“The court comes to the conclusion that the mother’s choice is ultimate. Considering this, the court holds that medical termination is allowed. The petitioner is permitted to undergo termination immediately at the LNJP Hospital or any other hospital of her choice,” Justice Prathiba M. Singh said.
The court further said that in Indian law, it is the woman who decides if she wants to give birth after conceiving or not.
“This right gives a woman the ultimate choice as to whether to give birth to the child that she has conceived. India is amongst the countries that recognise this choice of the woman in its law and has even expanded this right in recent times with amendments permitting the termination at an advanced stage under various circumstances,” Justice Singh said.
The court said that cases involving fetal abnormalities highlight the severe dilemma that women undergo while taking a decision to terminate a pregnancy.
The court directed that the petitioner is permitted to undergo the procedure for medical termination of pregnancy immediately at the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan (LNJP) hospital, or the Guru Teg Bahadur hospital or an approved medical facility of choice as per Section 4 under the supervision of a properly constituted medical team.
“Prior to undergoing the procedure for medical termination of pregnancy, the petitioner shall once again be informed of the procedure being undertaken and her informed consent for the same will be obtained. The petitioner shall undergo medical termination at her risk as to the consequences of the same, the court added.
On December 5, the court hauled up the LNJP hospital for delaying the medical examination of the petitioner, who was seeking termination of her 33-week pregnancy as the foetus suffers from cerebral abnormalities.
The counsel representing the hospital had submitted that as the woman is in her third trimester with certain complications involved, the medical board also wanted the neurologist to be there in the team.