Another unborn baby’s life is in the hands of the Supreme Court of India.
The 28-week unborn baby has a disability, and his or her mother wants an abortion, the New Indian Express reports. On Friday, the high court asked a medical board to assess the health of the mother and unborn child, and give a recommendation about whether the baby should be aborted by Monday, according to the report.
Abortions are illegal after 20 weeks of pregnancy in India. However, women or their families increasingly have been petitioning the high court for permission to abort their unborn babies after the limit, especially in cases involving fetal abnormalities or sexual assault.
At 20 weeks, an unborn baby already is fully formed and close to the point of viability (about 23 weeks). Later-term abortions also are risky and can be deadly for the mother.
In the latest case, the unborn baby recently was diagnosed with a heart disorder that could require several open-heart surgeries immediately after birth, according to the report.
The mother’s attorneys argued that the mother will experience “extreme anguish” unless she is allowed to abort her disabled unborn baby.
“Hence the denial of her right to an abortion has caused the extreme anguish and has forced the woman to continue with her pregnancy while being aware that the foetus or the child after the birth would never survive a healthy and long life,” they argued in a petition to the high court.
Yet, they do not give a thought to how the woman’s unborn baby will suffer in an abortion and be stripped of their right to life.
It is not clear how the Supreme Court of India will rule in the matter. Earlier this fall, the high court granted an exception for a woman whose unborn baby had potentially fatal kidney problems. She was 31 weeks pregnant.
In August, the high court gave another Mumbai-area woman permission to abort her unborn baby at 26 weeks after doctors said the baby had a potentially fatal disorder. Doctors at JJ Hospital who examined the woman and her unborn baby said the baby did not have a skull and probably would not survive, according to the Indian Express. The doctors also said the woman was experiencing “immense mental agony.”
A late-term abortion is a very risky, multiple day procedure that can kill the mother as well as her unborn baby. On the first day, the abortionist typically injects a poison into the unborn baby’s heart or head to kill them. They also begin to dilate the mother’s cervix to prepare for childbirth. On the third or fourth day, they induce labor and the mother gives birth to her dead baby.