By Dave Andrusko
Having lost in the Bombay High Court, an Indian mother carrying twins has taken her petition for a “selective reduction” to the nation’s Supreme Court.
Live Law reports that 33-year-old Komal Hiwale wants to abort one of her twins because the child has been diagnosed with Down syndrome.
Nitish Kashyap reports that in her petition, Hiwale said she wanted a “normal delivery for the other foetus.”
The Supreme Court seems as if it is more receptive. On Wednesday, it directed the medical board “to add an additional member who is a well qualified and competent foetal expert and additionally report whether abortion of one foetus will affect the life of the other foetus and the life of the mother.”
The Justices—R. Banumathi, Indu Malhotra, and Aniruddha Bose—urged the medical board to communicate its report by Saturday.
According to Kashyap, in dismissing Hiwale’s petition, the Bombay High Court, consisting of Justice RD Dhanuka and Justice Abhay Ahuja, “rel[ied] upon the opinion of the medical board” (presumably the same medical board). They cited a number of factors in their May 22 opinion, including that a “selective termination” might “damage” (or kill) the other baby, and that they might abort the wrong baby.
Quoting from the opinion, Kashyap cites other considerations:
“Also the above opinion [from the medical board] clearly indicates risks to the physical and mental health of the mother, in the event the selective termination is undertaken such as pre-term labour, potential hemorrhage, infection, DIC [Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation] due to retained products of conception, and depression.”