Supreme Court ‘no’ to plea to abort foetus with disorder

NEW DELHI MAr 01,
The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused a woman’s request for permission to abort her 26-week-old foetus detected with Down’s Syndrome, a genetic disorder.
The woman had sought an exemption under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act of 1971, which bars abortion if the foetus has crossed the 20-week mark. An exception to the law is made if a registered medical practitioner certifies to a court that the continued pregnancy is life-threatening for either the mother or the baby.
A Bench of Justices S.A. Bobde and L. Nageswara Rao, however, declined the woman’s plea saying Down’s Syndrome does not qualify as a life-threatening factor. There is no physical risk to the mother from the pregnancy.“They [persons with Down’s Syndrome] are fine people,” the Bench remarked.
Empathising with the woman as her child may suffer developmental delays and physical handicaps, the Bench staunchly refused permission for abortion, saying “we have a life in our hands.”

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