A Bombay high court bench of Justices N R Borkar and Somasekhar Sundaresan has allowed a 19-year old to abort her 26-week foetus, citing reproductive autonomy. Earlier, a medical board had reviewed her plea for MTP beyond the permissible 24-week deadline. Although the foetus had no abnormalities, the medical board advised termination as the pregnancy posed a “grave danger” to the girl’s mental health.

The teen had petitioned the HC on May 27 through advocate Tejesh Dande and cited “grave psychological effect of the pregnancy and social stigma” as the primary reasons for seeking termination.

The MTP Act currently sets the limit at 24 weeks, beyond which a medical board’s approval and a court order are required. The court directed the medical board of BJ Govt Medical and Sassoon General Hospital, Pune, to assess the teen’s case. The board found that while she was physically fit to undergo an MTP, continuing the pregnancy could lead to grave psychological injury due to her current mental, sociocultural and economic conditions. The HC also heard the teen via videoconference to ensure her consent and understanding of the MTP procedure.

The HC heard the Centre’s lawyer Purnima Awasthi as well before allowing the termination to proceed at Sassoon Hospital on Thursday itself, expressing confidence that the hospital and its medical board would ensure sensitive treatment and prioritize the petitioner’s emotional and mental health throughout the process. The SC had recently said that “the decision to terminate pregnancy is deeply personal for any person”.

Source & Credit: The Times of India

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