Supreme Court of India on Thursday asked the Centre and the Maharashtra government to respond to a rape victim’s abortion plea within 24 hours as major part of the foetus did not grow appropriately. The victim in her advanced stage of pregnancy pleaded for termination as development in the embryo as Brain, Skull and Scalp went missing. In medical sciences, it is termed as anencephaly.
Justice J S Khehar asked the victim’s senior counsel Colon Gonsalves to hand-over the developments till date immediately to the office of Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi as well as Maharashtra’s standing counsel. The Court reprimanded as unable to give permission to the victim for abortion until a verdict is gained from both the governments. It further stated that a medical team would be set up so as to examine the girl and then come to any decision.
The Mumbai-based rape victim identified as “Ms X” challenged the validity of Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act 1971, which states as abortion is illegal after 20-weeks of pregnancy. The Bench comprising Justices Kurian Joseph and Arun Mishra opined as 20-week-old pregnancy termination valid only under circumstances that the heartbeat of the foetus stops naturally. However, the exemption has been dragged to court for uniform justice having a reason behind as the problem got detected after 20-weeks of advanced stage.
The Centre has prepared a Bill so as to amend the MTP Act making abortion legal even in the advanced stage of pregnancy if the medical condition warranted. The legislation is waiting for Parliament’s approval. The urge developed after rape victims plead to abort the foetus was denied by some medical practitioners on June 2 under the law of MTP. The court rejected the girl’s doctor seeking permission to perform MTP.
Also, the victim addressing herself poor pleaded as she is unable to handle the mental trauma of carrying the foetus with fatal abnormalities which were completely against the fundamental rights. The life led by a person ought to be dignified as per law along with equality, privacy and personal liberty under Article 21 and Article 14. The Act of 1971 has lost its relevance in the past 37 years as new medical technologies have emerged in the society thus enabling medical practitioners to continually sought-after the developments in the foetus along with detecting abnormalities with due time.
The Act of 1971 has lost its relevance in the past 37 years as new medical technologies have emerged in the society thus enabling physicians to continually sought-after the developments in the foetus along with detecting abnormalities with due time.