The report informed the court that there was a “complete absence of brain and skull” of the foetus and survival rate was minimal.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday permitted a 20-year-old Pune-based woman to abort her 24-week-old foetus, which does not have a skull or a brain as the child would not have survived after birth.
A bench of Justices S.A. Bobde and L. Nageswara Rao passed the order taking note of the report of the medical board of the Pune-based B.J. Government Medical College that there was no medical treatment for the anomaly and it would be risky to continue with the pregnancy. The report informed the court that there was a “complete absence of brain and skull” of the foetus and survival rate was minimal.
The bench said, “We consider it appropriate and in the interest of justice to allow termination of pregnancy.” and gave its nod for aborting the pregnancy. The court’s permission was sought, as terminating pregnancy of a foetus beyond 20 weeks is not allowed under the provisions of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act.
Meanwhile, solicitor-general Ranjit Kumar, appearing for the Centre, informed the bench that the Union government had asked all states and union territories to constitute permanent medical boards to deal with such abortion matters to avoid wastage of time. He said this communication was sequel to an earlier direction issued by this court while rejecting the plea of a 10-year-old minor girl to abort the pregnancy.
However, another bench posted for hearing on September 4, the plea of a 13-year-old rape survivor, to allow her to terminate the unwanted 30-week foetus. Last week the court had asked a medical board to examine her and inform the court. On Thursday the court was informed that the medical examination could not conducted in Mumbai in view of the torrential rains. The bench then deferred the hearing till September 4 to await the medical report.