On Monday, the Delhi High Court refused to allow a 20-year-old unmarried woman to terminate her 28-week pregnancy. The petition was rejected by Justice Subramonium Prasad.
The court had reserved its verdict on the petition last week while orally observing that it would not allow the woman to abort a completely viable fetus.
The judge had said, "I am not going to allow it for a completely viable fetus of 28 weeks. In the report, I can't see any abnormality in the fetus. Feticide cannot be permitted".
The Judge Subramonium Prasad, however, added that if the woman is willing to give the newborn to adoption after delivery, the center shall ensure that the procedure takes place in the earliest and smoothest way possible.
The court stated that since the fetus is viable and normal and there is no danger to the petitioner from carrying on with the pregnancy, feticide would neither be ethical nor legally permissible.
The woman in her plea claimed she got pregnant through a consensual relationship, but she came to know about the pregnancy recently.
The doctors denied terminating the pregnancy as the gestation period was beyond the legally permissible limit of 24 weeks. The petitioner sought permission from the high court to undergo medical termination of her 28-week pregnancy under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act.
Advocate Amit Mishra, who represents the woman, said she did not come to know about the pregnancy earlier, and it was only on January 25 that she came to know that she was 27 weeks pregnant.
The advocate said the young woman was unmarried and no one in her family knew about her pregnancy, so her condition should be considered.
The advocate had further urged the court to direct the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to medically examine the woman to know her mental and physical condition as well as the condition of the fetus.
(Input from various sources)