Judges on a high court in India allowed a late-term unborn baby with disabilities to be aborted this week after claiming the baby would cause “hardship” to the family.
Asian News International (ANI) reports the Delhi High Court granted an exception to the country’s late-term abortion ban in this particular case after the unborn baby was diagnosed with anencephaly, an open neural tube defect and kyphoscoliosis disease.
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.
In this case, the mother was 27-weeks pregnant with her unborn child. The mother told the court that she tried to get an abortion earlier, but she was delayed because staff at the hospital in her area went on strike, according to the report.
The Delhi High Court ordered a medical examination before ruling, and doctors told the court that the unborn baby was incompatible with life and likely would be stillborn.
“I am of the considered view that in the light of the opinion given by the Medical Board, continuing the pregnancy shall be a great hardship to the petitioner and upon that her extreme amount of mental, emotional and even financial distress,” Justice V. Kameswar Rao wrote in the ruling.
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At 27 weeks, an unborn baby is nearly fully formed and viable outside the womb. In an abortion at this stage, the unborn baby would feel intense, excruciating pain as he or she is being killed. Late-term abortions also are dangerous for mothers, and some women have died along with their unborn babies in late-term abortions.
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.
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 the image of a 27-week-old unborn baby.