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Delhi HC permits woman to undergo medical termination of 6 months old pregnancy

by Vaishali Sharma

The Delhi High Court has granted a 24-year-old woman permission to have her pregnancy of more than 24 weeks medically terminated. After reviewing the medical board’s report at Lady Hardinge Hospital, Justice Rekha Palli issued her decision. “In view of the foregoing, once the Medical Board has clearly opined that the malformations of the petitioners foetus are likely to be incompatible with life, and in the event that the pregnancy is taken to term, the prospects of the unborn child surviving are extremely unlikely,” the court writes. “I am of the considered opinion that the petition deserves to be accepted because the petitioner is determined to be both physically and psychologically suitable to undertake medical termination of her pregnancy,” Justice Palli remarked.”As a result, the petitioner is entitled to undergo the procedure of medical termination of her pregnancy at the respondent no. 3 hospital, where she is already receiving treatment and has provided the medical report dated October 11, 2021,” the Court stated. The Court further praised the respondent hospital for taking aggressive steps to quickly form the Medical Board in accordance with the Court’s mandate.

It had previously ordered the Lady Hardinge Hospital to convene a medical board and provide a report on the defects that the Petitioner’s foetus has developed, as well as the viability of terminating the petitioner’s pregnancy.

The court was hearing a petition filed by a 24-year-old woman who had been pregnant for more than 24 weeks and was seeking authorization to have her pregnancy terminated medically under Section 3 (2) (B) of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act 1971. (hereinafter referred to as MTP Act )Advocate Sneha Mukherjee represented the petitioner. According to the petition, the petitioner’s foetus has multi cystic dysplastic kidneys. “That is an aberrant embryonic kidney development leading in several irregular cysts of varied sizes, which fact came to the petitioners’ notice only after an ultrasound anomaly scan on September 21, 2021.”

According to the petitioner, if the pregnancy is carried out to its natural end, there is a significant possibility that the child, if delivered, will suffer from serious long-term morbidities. According to the medical board’s assessment, the non-functioning kidneys of the petitioner’s foetus are likely to be related with lung hypoplasia, which, according to medical opinion, is likely to be incompatible with life. It was also stated that the board has recommended that the petitioner is physically and psychologically fit to undergo medical termination of pregnancy after counseling the petitioner about the risks involved in doing so at this stage. Advocate Sobhana Takiar represented the Delhi government, while Advocate Anil Soni represented the central government.

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