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SC allows woman to abort 26-week foetus due to abnormalities

The Supreme Court on Monday allowed a West Bengal-based woman, who is in her 26th week of pregnancy, to abort her foetus suffering from severe cardiac ailments.

The apex court relied on the report of the medical board which has advised termination of pregnancy as a "special case" and has said that there was a threat of "mental injury" to the woman if the pregnancy was continued.

The doctors have advised that the infant, if born alive, has to undergo multiple "complex" surgeries for severe cardiac ailments and the chances of mortality were high.

"Keeping in view the report of the medical board, we are inclined to allow the prayer and direct medical termination of petitioner number one (woman)," a bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra and A M Khanwilkar said.

The top court said the procedure of termination of pregnancy be carried out "forthwith" at the IPGMER SSKM Hospital in Kolkata.

The order came on a petition filed by the woman and her husband seeking permission to abort her foetus on the ground of abnormalities which could be even fatal to her. During the hearing today, senior counsel Colin Gonsalves, representing the petitioners, referred to the medical board's report and said continuing the pregnancy could be "grave" for the woman.