HC allows woman's plea to abort 23-week abnormal twin fetus
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday allowed a woman to abort a 23-week pregnancy after an AIIMS medical board said the twin fetus she was carrying did suffer from abnormalities and once born would face long-term developmental issues. The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) medical board also said that the termination procedure would be "reasonably safe" at the present stage of gestation.
The twin fetus suffered from 'Dandy-Walker Malformation'
In view of the board's report, Justice Rekha Palli allowed the woman to terminate her pregnancy and disposed of her plea. Both the woman and her husband were present during the proceedings and said they were aware of the associated risks. The woman, in her plea, had sought permission for abortion as her twin fetus suffered from "Dandy-Walker Malformation," a rare congenital brain abnormality.
The couple's doctors had advised against abortion at this stage
The court had asked AIIMS to constitute a board, examine the woman and submit a report to the court by May 24 after the petitioner and her husband said that their doctors have said that after 24 weeks of gestation, abortion would not be advisable.
Petition was delayed as doctors wanted to confirm the diagnosis
According to the petition, "Dandy-Walker Malformation" is a rare brain condition in which the part joining the two hemispheres of the cerebellum does not fully form. The couple had informed the court on May 20 that they initially found about the malformation on April 28, but their doctors wanted to confirm the diagnosis and that is why they took time to file a petition.
Couple didn't know court order is required for late abortion
They 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. 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.