India Court Rejects Late-Term Abortion on Supposedly Disabled Unborn Baby

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 4, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

India Court Rejects Late-Term Abortion on Supposedly Disabled Unborn Baby

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
August 4
, 2008

Bombay, India (LifeNews.com) — After a panel of physicians weighed in on the case, the Bombay High Court on Monday denied a request from a couple who wanted a late-term abortion on a baby who is supposedly physically disabled. The doctors said further examinations showed no abnormalities in the 24-week-old unborn baby.

Niketa and Harsh Mehta made headlines last week when they requested the abortion.

Justices RMS Khandeparkar and Amjad Sayed cited the recommendations by the doctors in their decision.

“There is no medical evidence on record to say that he will be handicapped after birth,” they wrote in their decision. “The petitioners have not made out that this lady’s case is exceptional for us to use discretionary powers."

They said they would not have allowed the abortion even if the request came before the 20-week period considered the earliest an unborn child could survive outside the womb.

The couple had claimed at least one doctor indicated the baby would be born with a congenital heart block. They said the baby would need a pacemaker to regulate her heart from the time of birth and they couldn’t afford one.

The judges also said they couldn’t change the current India law on abortions, known as the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act. The law prohibits abortions beyond 20 weeks into pregnancy unless the mother’s life is at risk from it.

“It is the job of the legislature to help you alter the provision. We can not legislate the provision," they said, according to a NI Wire report.

 

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