Another late-term unborn baby is scheduled to be aborted in India this week simply because the child has a disability.
Abortions are illegal after 20 weeks in India, but the courts have been allowing more and more exceptions to the law for discriminatory eugenic abortions.
The Times of India reports the Bombay High Court gave another exception Thursday to a Pune woman whose 23-week unborn baby has a rare heart condition.
According to a medical panel’s report to the court, the unborn baby has a heart condition called truncus arteriosus with atrioventricular canal defect, which puts him or her at a “substantial risk of serious physical handicap.”
The woman’s lawyer, Meenaz Kakalia, also said the baby likely would have required multiple surgeries within the first two months of birth.
For these reasons, the court granted the woman’s request.
Increasingly, courts have been granting late-term abortion exceptions to women who are victims of rape or whose unborn babies have disabilities. In cases of fetal anomalies, the courts seem to base their decisions on the unborn child’s likelihood of dying soon after birth and significant risks to the mother’s health.
In the past, the courts have refused several cases where the babies had treatable conditions, such as Down syndrome. Earlier this month, the Bombay court also rejected a woman’s request for an abortion at 31 weeks because doctors said it was too risky.
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However, in August, the Supreme Court of India gave another women permission to abort her unborn child at 24 weeks of pregnancy.
At 20 weeks, an unborn baby already is nearly fully formed and close to the point of viability (about 22-23 weeks). Later-term abortions also are risky and can be deadly for the mother.