56% Abortions Unsafe Despite Being Legal; Proposed Amendments On Hold
Shaifali Agrawal, November 22, 2017
Niketa Mehta was in the 24th week of her pregnancy when a test revealed substantial abnormalities in the foetus’ heart that posed a risk to its survival. Mehta decided to abort, but found herself restrained by the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, which prohibits abortion of a foetus older than 20 weeks, except when “immediately necessary to save the life of the pregnant woman”.
Mehta’s obstetrician sought judicial authorisation (Nikhil Datar v. Union of India) from the Bombay High Court, saying Mehta did not want to give birth to a severely disabled infant and witness its suffering. The court refused, saying the issue was of future health risks to the unborn child, and not to the mother.