The Kerala High Court dismissed a plea filed by a married couple seeking permission for carrying out medical termination of pregnancy at a gestational age of 35 weeks observing that “the stage at which permission can be granted has crossed the limits“.
The order was passed by the bench of Justice P. V. Asha after taking the opinion of the Medical Board that there was every possibility that the child would be born alive.
Contentions in the Plea and Averments by Concerned Parties
The Petitioners (husband and wife) approached the Court seeking permission for carrying out medical termination of pregnancy at a gestational age of 34 weeks pointing out serious abnormalities in the fetus.
It was submitted by the petitioners that under Article 21 of the Constitution of India, the lady was having every right to decide on the question of continuance of her pregnancy, which is a right to live with human dignity also and hence she has to be permitted to undergo medical termination of pregnancy.
The petitioners were also willing to take the risk on account of the same.
Medical Board concluded that the foetus is having serious developmental brain anomalies but there is possibility of survival of baby at birth and that there are chances of excessive bleeding during delivery.
That is why the Medical Board could not recommend the termination of pregnancy.
The Government Pleader pointed out that even if there is a normal delivery, the Child Welfare Committee would be ready to take care of the child. At the instant stage permission for medical termination would affect the right to life of the child in the womb.
The Court, in its order, remarked,
“Though the counsel for the petitioners pointed out that the petitioners are willing to take a risk, in none of the judgments relied on by the Counsel, the gestational age had exceeded 32 weeks.”
“Only some more days are left for the full development of the foetus“.
Hence, the Court dismissed the Writ Petition filed by the married Couple.