Delhi HC Allows Woman To Undergo Medical Termination Of Her 24-Week Pregnancy

The Delhi High Court has granted permission to a 24-year-old woman to undergo the procedure for medical termination of her over 24 weeks pregnancy.

Justice Rekha Palli’s ruling came after observing the report of the medical board of Lady Hardinge Hospital.
“In the light of the aforesaid, once the Medical Board has clearly opined that the deformities of the petitioner’s foetus are likely to be incompatible with life and in case, the pregnancy is carried to term, the chances of survival of the unborn child are very remote. As the petitioner is found to be both physically and psychologically fit to undergo medical termination of her pregnancy, I am of the considered view that the petition deserves to be allowed,” Justice Palli said.

“Accordingly, the petitioner is permitted to undergo the procedure of medical termination of her pregnancy at the respondent no.3 hospital, where she is already undergoing treatment, and which has furnished the medical report dated October 11, 2021,” the court said.

The court also appreciated proactive steps taken by the respondent hospital in expeditiously constituting the Medical Board in terms of this Court’s order. It had earlier directed the Lady Hardinge Hospital to constitute a Medical Board and submit its report regarding the deformities which the petitioner’s foetus is stated to be suffering from, as also the feasibility of the termination of the petitioner’s pregnancy.

The court was hearing a petition filed by a 24-year-old woman, having completed over 24 weeks of her pregnancy and sought permission to undergo medical termination of her pregnancy under Section 3(2)(b) of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 (hereinafter referred to as the “MTP Act”).

The petitioner was represented by advocate Sneha Mukherjee. As per the petition, the petitioner’s foetus is found to be suffering from “multicystic dysplastic kidneys” that is an abnormal foetal development of the kidneys resulting in multiple irregular cysts of varying sizes, which fact came to the petitioner’s knowledge only upon an ultrasound anomaly scan conducted on September 21, 2021.

The petitioner said that if the pregnancy is taken to its logical conclusion, there is a substantial risk that the child, if born, is likely to suffer from grave long-term morbidities.

The court noted that as per the report of the Medical Board, it was evident that the non-functioning of the kidneys of the petitioner’s foetus is likely to be associated with lung hypoplasia, which as per the medical opinion, is likely to be incompatible with life. It has been further stated that the Board has, after counselling the petitioner about the risks involved in termination of her pregnancy at this stage, further recommended that the petitioner is physically and psychologically fit to undergo medical termination of her pregnancy.

Advocate Shobhana Takiar appeared for the Delhi government while Advocate Anil Soni was representing the Central government. (ANI)

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