India’s High Court okays 33 week abortion against advice of hospital

By Dave Andrusko

On Tuesday the Delhi High Court gave a 26 year old woman permission to abort a viable, pain-capable 33 week old unborn baby. Ordinarily abortions are “limited” to 24 weeks in India, although readers of NRL News Today know that in recent years exceptions have been freely made.

The difference in this case is that the medical panel, which judges often give great deference to, rejected her request. APN Live reported.

Last week, the 26-year-old woman approached the high court after the GTB Hospital rejected her plea for pregnancy termination. According to the amended Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, which took effect on September 24, 2021, the petitioner’s current gestational age exceeded the legal threshold of 24 weeks.

The medical board that Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital appointed to investigate the case stated in its report that while the foetus, once born, would be compatible with life, the degree of any disability due to the abnormality cannot be predicted. In the end, the board decided against medically terminating the pregnancy in the given situation.

Justice Prathiba M. Singh granted her petition in light of the medical board’s assessment “which was unable to indicate the potential severity of the child’s condition.” But, of course, uncertainty  was the very reason GTB Hospital rejected her request to abort!

The doctors who were “virtually present in court stated that the quality of life of the foetus cannot be judged and that surgery can be performed on the newborn,” the news story reported. “The petitioner had stated on Friday that no abnormalities had been discovered in the foetus up until the 16th week of gestation, but the petitioner said an abnormality was noticed on November 12.”

The Delhi High Court concluded that the “final decision in such cases should be made keeping in mind the choice of the woman to give birth and the possibility of a dignified life for the unborn child,” News Track Live reported.

A late-term abortion “typically involves injecting a poisonous potassium chloride solution through the woman’s stomach into the baby’s heart, causing excruciating pain as the poison stops his/her heart,” Micaiah Bilger  reported, “A few days later, labor is induced and the woman delivers her dead baby’s body.”

According to the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, approximately 15.6 million unborn babies were aborted in India in 2015.