A court in India gave a mother permission Tuesday to have a late-term abortion after her unborn baby was diagnosed with a rare brain disorder.
NewsBytes reports the mother, who is carrying twins, learned in late April that one of them has Dandy-Walker syndrome. The woman and her husband said they sought an abortion but soon learned that they would need permission from a court.
India prohibits abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. In recent years, however, courts have been granting numerous exceptions to the law for victims of rape and unborn babies with disabilities.
On Tuesday, the Delhi High Court granted the couple’s request after a report from an All India Institute of Medical Sciences medical board determined that the abortion would be “reasonably safe” for the mother, according to the report.
The mother told the court that she wants an abortion because her doctors believe her child would have “long-term developmental issues” if born, the report states.
Dandy Walker syndrome is a brain malformation of the cerebellum that involves fluid buildup. According to the National Institutes of Health, the condition ranges in severity and some children have “normal cognition” while others never achieve “normal intellectual development even when the excess fluid buildup is treated early and correctly.”
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The mother also told the court that she understand the risks of abortion to her own health, NDTV reports.
Abortions involve two lives, not just one, and late-term abortions can be deadly to mothers as well as their unborn babies. Whether a woman gives birth or aborts her unborn baby, she still has to go through labor and delivery. The main difference is that in a late-term abortion, the unborn baby is already dead.
A late-term abortion typically involves injecting a poisonous potassium chloride solution through the woman’s stomach into the baby’s heart, causing excruciating pain to the baby as the poison stops his/her heart. A few days later, labor is induced and the woman delivers her dead baby’s body.
Late-term abortions also are dangerous for mothers. Even abortion advocacy groups admit that the risks of abortion increase greatly later in pregnancy, and women sometimes die along with their unborn babies.
India has some of the highest abortion numbers in the world. Approximately 15.6 million unborn babies were aborted in the country in 2015, according to the Guttmacher Institute.
Below is an ultrasound of a baby at 23 weeks.