The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a woman’s plea to abort her fetus that was 26 weeks old on account of her illness. CJI DY Chandrachud said that “pregnancy cannot be terminated because of medical reasons”
The woman is free to decide whether she gives up her child for adoption or not. A bench headed by CJI DY Chandrachud including Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misa noted a fresh report from AIIMS medical board confirmed that the woman is suffering from postpartum psychosis and the fetus hasn’t been affected by her medication.
The SC was waiting for the reports from the medical board of the AIIMS on whether the 26-week fetus of a married woman, who is seeking allowance to undergo abortion of the fetus, is suffering from any disease or abnormal condition. As per the reports she was taking medicines that were unharmful to the fetus. The hospital has also prescribed an alternative regime for treatment.
After reports from the board which showed that the fetus was normal, the court took this decision. The court also stated that there was no immediate threat to the mother and that the fetus was normal.
Additional Solicitor General Aiswarya Bhati kept before the court that the issue no longer pertained to the right of choice of a woman. After 24 weeks, once it is an existing life, the choice of abortion goes, once the medical report says the child is normal. While closing her submissions, ASG Bhati repeated that the state would provide the petitioner and her husband with full medical care and consultation regardless of whether they give their child for adoption or keep it with them.
The Supreme Court decision:
THE SUPREME COURT
The matter reached the three-judge bench after an argument in the two-judge bench. Justice Hima Kohli allowed the recall of the application mentioning that her judicial conscience did not allow the termination of pregnancy. Justice Nagarathna said that the woman cannot be forced to undergo the pregnancy at the risk of physical and mental trauma. Which led the matter to a larger bench.
The woman is 26 weeks and 5 days pregnant, if the abortion or termination is allowed it will be against sections 3 and 5 of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, as there is no immediate harm to the mother and the fetus is normal as well.
A 27-year-old, mother of two children who filed the petition said that she was not prepared mentally, physically, psychologically, or economically to continue with this pregnancy.
The state has denied her option of prematurely delivering her baby, as the state has said the state is going to take care of the child if the parents do not want the baby.