High Court Allows Delhi Woman To Abort 23-Week Foetus Over “Rare Brain Abnormality”

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The Delhi High Court today allowed a woman to abort her 23-week pregnancy after an AIIMS medical board said the twin foetus 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 told the high court that the termination procedure would be “reasonably safe” at the present stage of gestation of the pregnancy.

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 today and said they were aware of the risks associated.

The woman, in her plea, had sought permission for abortion as her twin foetus suffered from ‘dandy walker malformation’, a “rare congenital brain abnormality”.

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.

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 told 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.

They also said that they did not know earlier that they would require a court order to abort a pregnancy which was at such an advanced stage and got to know about this only when the doctors said that an abortion can be carried out only on orders of a court.

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