SC rejects plea to abort 26-week-old foetus with Down Syndrome

The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a woman�s plea seeking termination of her 26-week old foetus that would be born with Down Syndrome.

SC rejects plea to abort 26-week-old foetus with Down Syndrome

The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a woman’s plea seeking termination of her 26-week old foetus that would be born with Down Syndrome.

The apex court said that aborting a 20-plus week foetus can be allowed only in cases where there is a danger to the life of the mother or the foetus.

division bench of Justice S.A. Bobde and Justice L. Nageswara Rao in an interim order took note of the report that the foetus has chances of surviving.


"It is sad that the child may suffer from physical and mental challenges and it's unfortunate for the mother but we can't allow an abortion. We have a life in our hands," the court said.

The Centre also opposed the plea of the woman, saying the board did not favour abortion. The bench observed that it was sad that a mother has to bring up a severely mentally retarded child. Down Syndrome is a congenital disorder which causes intellectual impairment and physical abnormalities.

Under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, 1971, a pregnancy could be terminated in the normal course if it was up to 12 weeks old. Pregnancies between 12 to 20 weeks can be terminated if in the opinion of two doctors the continuation of the pregnancy would involve a risk to the life of the pregnant woman.

In February, the top court allowed a 22-year-old woman to terminate her 24-week pregnancy on the ground that it would endanger her life.