Order allowing abortion at 29 weeks recalled by Delhi High Court | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
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Order allowing abortion at 29 weeks recalled by Delhi High Court

Jan 24, 2024 01:33 AM IST

The woman found out in October that she was 20 weeks pregnant. In December, she decided to terminate her pregnancy

The Delhi high court on Tuesday recalled its January 4 order allowing the medical termination of 23-year-old woman’s 29-week pregnancy over mental health illnesses, after the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in a report warned of severe complications to the woman’s well-being in case the abortion is carried out.

The court granted woman the liberty to choose AIIMS or any state government hospital for her delivery, and asked the central government to provide her with all medical assistance as well as to ensure a quick adoption if she later wanted to give away the child. (HT Archive)
The court granted woman the liberty to choose AIIMS or any state government hospital for her delivery, and asked the central government to provide her with all medical assistance as well as to ensure a quick adoption if she later wanted to give away the child. (HT Archive)

A bench of justice Subramonium Prasad noted that the AIIMS report indicated that preterm induction of labour had a high chance of failure, which may lead to a caesarean section and consequently, serious implications on the woman’s future pregnancies and significant abnormality of the foetus.

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The court granted woman the liberty to choose AIIMS or any state government hospital for her delivery, and asked the central government to provide her with all medical assistance as well as to ensure a quick adoption if she later wanted to give away the child.

Read Here | Explained: Abortion laws in India

The woman found out in October that she was 20 weeks pregnant. In December, she decided to terminate her pregnancy, but doctors refused to perform the procedure as her gestation period was more than 24 weeks. The woman then approached the high court, and a bench on January 4 permitted her to abort the child over mental health concerns she developed following her husband’s death.

However, the Union ministry of health and family welfare and AIIMS filed applications, requesting the court to recall its order and direct the woman to continue her pregnancy till 37 weeks for the safety of her own health and that of the foetus.

The applications were filed after the woman had refused to reconsider her decision on the termination.

The ministry’s application stated that the child had a fair chance of survival, and the court should consider protecting the right to life of the unborn infant. AIIMS, meanwhile, said that since the woman’s gestation period was over 30 weeks, the foetus would be alive and viable even after delivery, adding that the abortion was neither ethical nor justified as there was no abnormality in the foetus.

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