Abortion in the 24th week of pregnancy permitted

In a case where the petitioner apprehended danger to her life after recognizing that her fetus was diagnosed with ‘anencephaly’, which leaves foetal skull bones unformed, the Supreme Court relied on the report of a medical board to warrant the conclusion that continuing the pregnancy posed a risk to the life of the pregnant woman. Although the pregnancy was into its 24th week, the bench decreed that the woman was allowed to terminate her pregnancy in light of these circumstances. The decision is significant as it places value on the autonomy of women to make decisions about their reproductive health, instead of the moral argument of preserving life regardless of consequences.

Case citation: Meera Santosh Pal v. Union of India, 2017 SCC OnLine SC 39