The Punjab and Haryana High Court allowed a woman’s request to terminate her 24-week pregnancy, The Indian Express reported on Saturday.
The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act bars termination of pregnancy beyond 20 weeks. Beyond this period, the termination of pregnancies is decided by the courts and usually allowed only if it is a matter of safeguarding the pregnant woman’s life.
The High Court allowed the termination after taking the medical condition of the foetus into consideration. A medical team of 11 doctors, including the chairperson of the board, had suggested on August 30 that the pregnancy be terminated. The team had found that the foetus had several congenital anomalies and was “not likely to survive as this congenital anomaly is not compatible with life”.
“The Director, PGIMER [Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research], Chandigarh, is requested to get the pregnancy of *name withheld* terminated under the supervision of the head of the Department (Obstetrics and Gynaecology), PGIMER, Chandigarh,” the court order read. The judgement, passed by a single bench, also instructed that all the required facilities for undertaking the procedure should be made available to the patient from Fatehgarh Sahib in Punjab.
The court said that the medical board that had recommended the termination was headed by a doctor who was the head of obstetrics and gynaecology in PGIMER, Chandigarh. “There would be no basis for this court to not accept the recommendations made by the Permanent Medical Board and the constitution of which was approved by the Director, PGIMER, Chandigarh,” the order said.
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