The Supreme Court today allowed a Mumbai-based woman, who is in her 24th week of pregnancy, to undergo termination of the foetus as it does not have a skull.
A bench of Justices S A Bobde and L Nageswara Rao allowed the 22-year-old woman to terminate her pregnancy while taking into consideration the report of medical board of King Edward Memorial hospital in Mumbai which suggested that the foetus would not be able to survive without the skull.
"We consider it appropriate and in the interest of justice, particularly the right of the petitioner to perserve her life by permitting her to undergo the termination of preganancy under the Medical Termination Of Pregnancy Act," the bench said.
The bench also directed that the termination of pregnancy be performed by a team of doctors of the hospital which shall maintain a complete record of the procedure adopted in the matter.
Referring to the report of the seven-member medical board, the bench said, "the medical evidence clearly suggests that there is no point in allowing the petitioner to run in full course since the foetus would not be able to survive outside the uterus without a skull."
The woman had approached the apex court seeking permission to undergo the termination of pregnancy citing abnormalities in the foetus.
In July last year, the Supreme Court, in a landmark judgement, had granted liberty to an alleged rape survivor to terminate her 24-week-old abnormal foetus. Notably, the law prohibits termination beyond 20 weeks.