Medical Board to consider Abortion requests

Vipasha Vaibhav

The Central Government, on Thursday, informed the Supreme Court that it has “written to States and Union Territories about the court’s suggestion to appoint permanent medical boards to provide women, especially rape survivors, urgent access to medical care and to consider their requests for abortion”. The statement was released during the hearing of the case of a woman who was permitted by the court to abort her 24-week-old foetus detected with abnormalities. A Bench led by Justice S.A. Bobde considered the medical opinion of doctors at the B.J. Government Hospital in Pune, according to which, the foetus was without a brain and a skull. They found it “in the interest of justice” for the 20-year-old woman to terminate her pregnancy.

According to Solicitor-General Ranjit Kumar, in another case of a 10-year-old pregnant rape, the government’s communication to the States and Union Territories was in accordance with the court’s advice to establish permanent medical boards. Here, the apex court was impelled to deny termination of pregnancy as the foetus had crossed the 20-week threshold under which the law allows abortion.

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