Pregnancy After 20 Weeks Can Be Aborted, If Foetus Suffers Congenital Defects Held Calcutta High Court

Team SoOLEGAL 4 Jun 2019 5:03pm

Pregnancy After 20 Weeks Can Be Aborted, If Foetus Suffers Congenital Defects Held Calcutta High Court

The Calcutta High Court allowed the termination of pregnancy having a period of 25 weeks if the foetus had congenital defect. Justice Protik Prakash Banerjee passed the order in Suparna Debnath v State of West Bengal, which held that Section 3 of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act 1971 will include a case wherein, if there is congenital defect which would not be conducive to the health life of a child if carried to term.

Section 3, of the Act places complete bar on termination of pregnancy beyond 20 weeks. The Division Bench held that this bar was not applicable in cases where it is proven that the child will be born with inherent health defects.

"We must hasten to add here that even though in the case of pregnant women, there is a compelling State interest in order to protect the life of the prospective child, there is a corresponding obligation – nay, a bounden duty – on the part of the State to provide quality and dignity to such life and such quality and dignity of life should extend to the mother as well, whose life is paramount at the stage of pregnancy. On the other hand, if it is compromised, the provisions contained under section 3(2)(b) of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971, cannot operate as an absolute bar and can extend beyond 20 (twenty) weeks.", the Court said.

The medical report in the case stated that the foetus had congenital anomaly, which was not compatible with normal and healthy life, for the child after birth. Stating the report as "gospel truth", the Court passed the order, allowing the woman to terminate the pregnancy.

Tagged: justiceprotikprakashbanerjee   calcuttahighcourt   25weeks   abortion  
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