Doctors favour changes in India’s abortion law

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 14 August 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a1273
  1. Ganapati Mudur
  1. 1New Delhi

    An Indian court has turned down a plea by a Bombay couple to be allowed to abort a 25 week old fetus, stirring a nationwide clamour for changes in India’s 37 year old abortion law.

    Niketa and Harsh Mehta, had approached the Bombay High Court to seek permission to abort their fetus after diagnostic tests showed a congenital heart block and transposition of the great arteries. India’s Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, passed in 1971, allows abortion up to only 20 weeks’ gestation.

    The court had asked a panel of doctors from the Jamsetji Jeejebhoy Hospital to examine the test results, and rejected the plea last week after the panel predicted little chance that the child would be born too disabled to survive.

    The court observed that the existing law …

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