Tahlka News Desk
New Delhi: The Supreme Court Thursday refused to grant an urgent hearing to a plea challenging the constitutional validity of a law that prohibits abortion of a 20-week-old foetus. The plea was related to the Monday ruling of the apex court when it refused to allow a woman to abort her 26-week foetus that showed signs of having Down Syndrome, saying "we have a life in our hands". The court had cited the medical board's report that stated the 37-year-old woman faced no physical risk in continuation of pregnancy.
As per India's abortion law, a woman cannot undergo an abortion if her pregnancy crosses 20 weeks. According to Times of India, the apex court on Thursday said "there are very important national issues which are in queue" and that it would grant a hearing to this particular petition only after the summer vacation. By then, however, the woman would have most likely given birth.
The woman, in her plea, has said that Down Syndrome could cause physical and mental retardation in the child who would not be able to lead a normal and healthy life. The court, however, stated, "As per a report of the medical board constituted to examine the 37-year-old woman, there was no physical risk to the mother in continuation of pregnancy. Everybody knows that children with Down's Syndrome are undoubtedly less intelligent, but they are fine people."
In a separate case, the apex court had in January allowed a 22-year-old woman, who was in her 24th week of pregnancy, to terminate her pregnancy under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act after medical report suggested the foetus had no skull.