HC asks hospital to examine 23-week pregnant woman

She wishes to terminate foetus suffering from deformities

The Delhi High Court on Thursday asked the Lady Hardinge Hospital to constitute a medical board to examine a 23-week pregnant woman — who wishes to terminate the foetus — which is suffering from serious physical deformities.

Justice Rekha Palli directed the hospital authorities to give the report within three days. Next hearing on October 5. The woman said in her latest ultrasound report, the foetus is suffering from serious physical deformities as it appears that it does not have a skull bone, besides other problems.

Advocate Sneha Mukherjee, representing the woman, said she had approached the court as the amendment in the medical termination of Pregnancy Act, which was intended to permit termination of pregnancy till 24 weeks in such cases is not yet been notified.

Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act stipulates a ceiling of 20 weeks, for termination of pregnancy, beyond which abortion of a foetus is statutorily impermissible. In January last, the Union Cabinet had approved the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020, which provides for enhancing the upper gestation limit from 20 to 24 weeks for special categories of women. including survivors of rape, victim of incest and other vulnerable women.

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