The Supreme Court has allowed a woman to abort her 31-week foetus after doctors discovered that both its kidneys were not functioning, PTI reported on Saturday.

The apex court bench, headed by Justice AK Sikri, passed the order based on a report from the medical board of JJ Hospital in Mumbai. The judges noted that continuing the pregnancy would cause mental anguish to the mother.

The medical board that examined the woman said that the foetus has severe congenital problems and both of its kidneys were not functioning. Its condition was not “compatible to life after birth,” the board said. “We feel that at this stage, termination of pregnancy is not going to be more hazardous than spontaneous delivery at term,” the board said in its report.

The Supreme Court bench, also comprising justices AM Sapre and Ashok Bhushan, said “the prayer made in the writ petition is allowed to the extent the petitioner (woman) is free to undergo medical termination of her pregnancy”.

The woman had approached the court seeking an abortion on the grounds that the foetus was suffering from a severe anomaly. Indian law allows abortion of foetuses up to 20 weeks old, but courts can make exceptions in case abnormalities are detected and if there is substantial risk to the mother’s life and health.