Woman’s right to choose whether to continue pregnancy or not, says HC; allows termination of 32-week pregnancy with foetal abnormalities

The Bombay High Court ruled that a woman has the right to choose whether or not to continue the pregnancy and that decision is for her to make, and that a married woman is not allowed at 32 weeks’ gestation after a severe anomaly has been detected in her fetus. He said he would allow abortions. .

Judge Gautam Patel and Judge SG Dige’s subcommittee, in their Jan. 20 ruling, a copy of which was made available Monday, said medical commissioners should not have an abortion even if the fetus has serious abnormalities. refused to accept the Board’s position. Because the pregnancy is almost coming to an end.

The woman contacted HC seeking an abortion after an ultrasound revealed severe fetal abnormalities and the baby was born with physical and mental disabilities.

“Given the severe fetal anomalies, the length of pregnancy is not an issue. Petitioner made an informed decision. The right of choice rests with the petitioner.It is not the right of the medical board,” the court said in its order.

Not only does refusing an abortion simply because the birth was delayed not only forces the fetus into a suboptimal life, it also leaves the mother with a future that will almost certainly deprive her of all the positive aspects of parenthood. HC said it would be forced.

“It would be a denial of her dignity and her right to reproductive and decision-making autonomy. A mother knows today that she has no chance of giving birth to a normal healthy baby at the end of this labor. ‘ said the court.

“Accepting the Medical Commission’s view not only condemns the unborn child to a substandard life, but also imposes an unfortunate and traumatic parenthood on the petitioner and her husband. They and their families. I can’t even imagine the impact on

Petitioner’s fetus has been detected with both microcephaly and lissencephaly, which bodes well for the future, Bench said.

The court argued that women’s rights should never be compromised by “blind application of the law,” and that “justice may have to be blindfolded. Blindness should never be allowed.” We are not bound by the relative positions of political parties.We can never be agnostic about where justice needs to come.” It poses problems and dilemmas, but the fact that “the arc of the moral universe always bends toward justice” remains unchanged.

Bench said the presence of the fetal anomaly and its severity were as certain as the fact that the detection was delayed.

“Because it is difficult to predict what problems will arise at birth, babies with microcephaly require continuous and regular follow-up and examination by a health care provider. Known treatments for it. There is no law or standard treatment, and in more extreme cases, babies with microcephaly almost always require intervention,” the court said.

Most disturbingly, he added, the prognosis for children with lissencephaly depends on the degree of brain malformation.

Bench said the medical board failed to take into account the couple’s social and economic status.

“It completely disregards their circumstances. Imagine a life of absolutely no quality to speak of that petitioners will have to endure for an indefinite future if the Commission’s recommendations are to be followed.” I haven’t even tried,” HC said.

“There’s only one thing the board really does: No, because you’re late. And as we’ve seen, that’s clearly wrong,” the court said while acknowledging the abortion.

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