Court in New Delhi gives woman permission to abort 23-week-old baby

By Dave Andrusko

Tragically, given recent trends in India, it was not surprising when Justice Rekha Palli today gave his  approval for a woman “to abort a 23-week pregnancy after an All India Institute of Medical Sciences medical board said the twin fetus she was carrying did suffer from abnormalities and once born would face long-term developmental issues,” Varnika Sharma reported.  The twin’s condition is known as ‘Dandy Walker Malformation’, a rare congenital brain abnormality which is characterized by fluid buildup. 

The AIIMS medical board “said the twin fetus she was carrying did suffer from abnormalities and once born would face long-term developmental issues,” Sharma added.

To be clear, the unidentified woman was aborting both twins because one baby had a disability.

According to the National Institutes of Health, the condition ranges in severity. Some children have “normal cognition” while others never achieve “normal intellectual development even when the excess fluid buildup is treated early and correctly.”

In India, “the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act stipulates a ceiling of 20 weeks, for termination of pregnancy, beyond which abortion of a foetus is statutorily impermissible,” The Hindu reported. But as NRL News Today has reported on numerous occasions, once that once largely impenetrable barrier was breached, approval is basically routine.

Justice Rekha Palli had asked the AIIMS Board “to formulate a report on the feasibility of the woman undergoing a medical termination of her pregnancy keeping in view of the fact that the pregnancy has already completed more than 22 weeks.”

The Justice did so after the woman and her husband told the court their own physician said it was “inadvisable” to have this late-term second trimester. However the medical board said an abortion would be “reasonably safe” at the present stage of gestation.

The couple was in court when the decision was read. In prior court proceedings, the couple “also said that they did not know earlier that they would require a court order to abort a pregnancy that was at such an advanced stage,” Sharma reported. “Additionally, they also got to know about this only when the doctors said that an abortion can be carried out only on orders of a court. “

According to the Guttmacher Institute, approximately 15.6 million unborn babies were aborted in the country in 2015. Reuters reported

The New York-based Guttmacher Institute’s research found that abortions are more than 22 times more common than the government’s estimate of less than 700,000 terminations, produced by focusing on state-run hospitals and clinics.