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Supreme Court directs AIIMS to hold termination of 26-week pregnancy of married woman, a day after allowing it

The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to hold the medical termination of the 26-week pregnancy of a married woman, who was permitted to proceed with the process yesterday.

The Bench led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) D.Y. Chandrachud today took note of the apprehension raised by doctors at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) that the foetus would have a viable chance of being born, along with the application filed by the Central government seeking recall of the Apex Court order of October 9.

The CJI said that a Bench would be constituted tomorrow to hear the Union government’s recall application.

Appearing for the Union government, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Aishwarya Bhati said in the application that the termination was recommended by the Apex Court despite the medical board saying that the baby had a viable chance of being born. They would have to conduct a foeticide, she added.

The CJI directed the Centre to file a formal application seeking recall, stating that the same would be placed tomorrow before the Bench that passed the order on October 9.

Noting that the AIIMS doctors were in a very serious dilemma, the CJI told them to hold the medical termination for now.

Earlier on Monday, the Bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice B.V. Nagarathna had permitted the petitioner, who is a mother of two children, to proceed with medical termination of pregnancy on the grounds that she was suffering from post-partum depression and was not in a position to raise a third child, emotionally, financially and mentally.

Recognising the right of a woman over her body, the Apex Court had noted that if an unwarranted pregnancy resulted in a child being brought into the world, a large part of the responsibility of rearing such a child would fall on the shoulder of the petitioner, who at this point, did not consider herself fit for the same.

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