New Delhi: The Supreme Court has constituted a medical board to examine the “condition and advisability” of permitting medical termination of pregnancy of a woman who has sought permission to abort as the over 21-week-old foetus lacks kidneys, besides having multiple anomalies.
A bench of Justices S. A. Bobde and L. N. Rao, in an interim order, directed the seven-member medical board of Mumbai-based King Edward Memorial (KEM) hospital to examine the 21-year-old woman and submit the report before it.
“The board shall examine petitioner number one (woman) and submit a report about her condition and advisability of permitting a medical termination of pregnancy, forthwith,” said the bench which also issued notice to the Centre on the plea and listed the matter for hearing on 7 February.
The woman has approached the apex court seeking permission to terminate her pregnancy contending that the foetus does not have kidneys, besides having multiple anomalies. The law prohibits termination of pregnancy after 20 weeks, even if there is a fatal risk to the mother and the foetus. “The petitioner found out in the 21st week of her pregnancy that the foetus doesn’t have kidneys. She had to undergo two scans before this could established and the foetus has multiple anomalies,” the woman has said in her petition.
The medical board constituted by the bench consists of doctors from the departments of psychiatry, obstetrics and gynaecology, medicine, radiology and anaesthesia. In a separate case, the apex court had on January 16 allowed a Mumbai-based woman, who was in her 24th week of pregnancy, to terminate her pregnancy under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act while taking into consideration the report of medical board of KEM Hospital which had suggested that the foetus would not be able to survive without the skull.