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Thursday , 24 August 2017
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Supreme Court allows abortion of 26-week-old foetus, cites medical report

The Supreme Court on Monday allowed a woman to abort her over 20-week-old foetus with severe abnormalities.

A Bench of Justices Dipak Misra and A.M. Khanwilkar, dictating the order in an open court, took note of the mental stress suffered by Sharmishta Chakraborty.

The law does not permit abortion if the foetus is over 20 weeks old.

Ms. Chakraborty had approached the Supreme Court seeking permission to abort her foetus after she suffered from cardiac impairment.

She presented to the court a report by paediatric pulmonologist, Devi Shetty, which said there was a high possibility of permanent brain damage.

The court said every woman had a sacrosanct right to bodily integrity.

It allowed the abortion to be conducted at a Kolkata hospital.

On June 24, the court wanted to stretch the law on abortion that would allow termination of pregnancy beyond 20 weeks if the foetus suffered from severe abnormalities.

Ms. Sharmishta, in her petition, stated that out of  26 million births 2-3 percent of foetuses suffers severe chromosomal abnormality.

It was possible to detect abnormalities before 20weeks but some could be detected only after that period.

The Supreme Court’s decision whether a woman should be allowed to abort or not after the 20 weeks period has been on a case-to-case basis.

 

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