Foetus over 20 weeks can be aborted to save a life: Bombay HC

Foetus over 20 weeks can be aborted to save a life: Bombay HC

Aregistered clinician can perform medical termination of pregnancy (MTP) on a foetus that has crossed the legal abortion limit of 20 weeks without the court’s permission if it is deemed necessary to save the life of the woman, the Bombay high court said in a recent ruling.

The permission for MTP, however, still has to be sought when a pregnancy has exceeded 20 weeks and the woman “fears its continuation would involve grave injury to her physical or mental health or where there is a substantial risk that if the child were born, it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped”.

In such cases, the pregnant woman will have to seek permission from the high court and unless such permission is granted, no registered medical practitioner can terminate such pregnancy, the HC ruled.

The court directed the state government to establish medical boards in every district to examine pregnant women and to furnish reports in cases where women have approached courts for permission after 20 weeks of gestation, within three months, reports said.

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