Supreme Court: ‘We Cannot Stop The Heartbeat,’ Denies Abortion For 26-Week Pregnant Woman

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Posted in Featured, Health, National, Women
NET Web Desk

In a recent case, the Supreme Court of India rejected a married woman’s plea to terminate her 26-week pregnancy based on a report from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences indicating no fetal abnormalities.

Chief Justice DY Chandrachud emphasized that allowing termination at this stage would violate the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act’s Sections 3 and 5 as there was no immediate danger to the mother and no indication of fetal abnormality.

“We cannot stop the heartbeat,” the Chief Justice added.

Notably, the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act sets the termination limit at 24 weeks for married women, survivors of rape, vulnerable groups like differently-abled individuals, and minors.

The petitioner, a mother of two stated of being battling depression and financial constraints, and requested permission for a court-ordered abortion, as per reports.

However, in an earlier hearing, the court permitted the woman to proceed with the pregnancy, but the decision was challenged by the centre based on AIIMS Delhi doctors’ advice against the abortion.

Following this, the case received a split verdict from a two-judge bench, leading to the Chief Justice-led bench taking up the matter.

Chief Justice Chandrachud said, “The bench questioned why the woman did not seek permission for abortion earlier. What was she doing for 26 weeks? She already has two children? Why come now? Do we issue an order for the child’s death through a judicial ruling?”.

Furthermore, the Chief Justice stressed the importance of considering the rights of the unborn child and proposed allowing the child to be born with subsequent government care, citing concerns about potential deformities from a hasty delivery at this stage.

The court highlighted that delivering a child with deformities might deter potential adopters.


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