HC allows termination of 22 weeks pregnancy of Chandigarh woman

The Punjab and Haryana high court has allowed a 22 weeks pregnant Chandigarh woman to terminate the foetus.

The termination was allowed after a medical report from Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) showed non-development of kidneys in foetus, a serious congenital malformation which it said is not compatible with normal life.

The woman has been asked to undergo the procedure at PGIMER within five days.

It was on August 6, that the woman had approached the high court seeking termination of her pregnancy. On that day, acting on her plea, the HC had taken suo motu note and issued a notice to the Centre on ‘flaws’ with the pregnancy termination law.

Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971, does not permit termination of pregnancy beyond 20 weeks. The law allows termination of pregnancy by a registered medical practitioner, where the duration of the pregnancy does not exceed 12 weeks. If the duration is up to 20 weeks, the pregnancy can be terminated on doctors’ opinion that its continuance would involve a risk to the life of the pregnant woman or can cause grave injury to her physical or mental health.

The bench had said the law does not provide any remedy for termination of pregnancy beyond twenty weeks even as science and technology has not been so advance as to prevent the development of any deformity in the foetus after a period of 20 weeks. Due to this, people have to approach courts. Centre has to respond on the issues raised by the high court by November 28.

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