Considering the staggering number of cases of female foeticide and infanticide in the country, the relaxation of the 20-week time limit for abortion might be misused rampantly, the central government told the Supreme Court on Monday. The attorney general's statement came in the wake of the apex court verdict that allowed a rape survivor to terminate her 24-week-old pregnancy after it was established that the foetus had an abnormal growth and the pregnancy might put the girl's life in danger.
"The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, with the 2002 amendment, is equipped to handle emergent pregnancy situations. It permits termination of pregnancy at any stage if the fetus threatens a woman's life," Rohatgi said. Many experts have challenged the law, which allows a woman to terminate her pregnancy after 20 weeks only if the foetus's health put the mother's life in danger, reported the Times of India.
On the same day, the Bombay High Court took the apex court verdict into consideration and ordered a medical board to be set up to determine the fate of a minor rape survivor who had moved the court seeking permission to terminate her 24-week pregnancy citing medical complications. Justice AK Pathak said, "It would be appropriate to leave it to the experts a decision on whether the continuance of pregnancy is a threat to the life of Ms. X." He said that if medical experts decide to terminate the pregnancy, the doctors should go ahead with it without waiting for further instruction from the judiciary, according to dna.