Kerala HC allows surgical removal of 26-week-old foetus considering mental health of woman

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Kerala High Court | Photo: Mathrubhumi

Kochi: The Kerala High Court has granted the surgical removal of a woman’s 26-week-old foetus. The woman, a 23-year-old MBA student, told the court that she did not suspect pregnancy due to irregular menstrual cycles. The woman decided to have an abortion considering that the pregnancy would affect her studies and mental health.

The hospitals, however, were not willing to abort her pregnancy as it is not legal to do so after 24 weeks. Following this, she approached the high court. A medical board, formed on the recommendation of the high court, submitted a report saying that even though the pregnancy would not cause any physical problems, it might affect the woman mentally.

The report also said that surgically removing the foetus at this stage would be risky for the mother and child. The court granted the removal of the foetus after the woman informed that she did not want to go ahead with the pregnancy.

The court took Article 21 of the Constitution into account while allowing the removal of the foetus. The procedure would be conducted under the woman’s responsibility. The court has also directed to provide treatment to the foetus if it is born alive.

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