Supreme Court Seeks New AIIMS Report in Complex Abortion Case

Supreme Court Seeks New AIIMS Report in Complex Abortion Case
Supreme Court Seeks New AIIMS Report in Complex Abortion Case
Supreme Court Seeks New AIIMS Report in Complex Abortion Case
Supreme Court Seeks New AIIMS Report in Complex Abortion Case

Supreme Court Seeks New AIIMS Report in Complex Abortion Case

Supreme Court Seeks New AIIMS Report in Complex Abortion Case

Supreme Court Seeks New AIIMS Report in Complex Abortion Case

In a complex and emotionally charged case, the Supreme Court of India has requested a fresh report from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) concerning the fetal health and medical condition of a married woman who seeks to terminate her 26-week pregnancy. This legal battle presents the apex court with a challenging decision, as it grapples with the conflicting considerations of “the rights of the unborn child” and the “choice of the mother.”

Hearing and a ‘Split Opinion’

The case took an intriguing turn when, during the initial hearing, the bench, comprised of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice BV Nagarathna, delivered a ‘split opinion’ due to differences in their views, particularly in relation to the Center’s plea to recall the abortion of the “unborn.”

Chief Justice’s Involvement and Mother’s Autonomy

The case was subsequently brought before Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, along with Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra. During this hearing, the bench inquired about the pregnant woman’s preferences regarding her third-trimester pregnancy. They asked her counsel whether she desired the apex court to issue a judicial order to cease the “foetal heart” of a “living, viable fetus.”

Supreme Court Seeks New AIIMS Report in Complex Abortion Case

Chief Justice Chandrachud, emphasizing the mother’s autonomy, noted the absence of representation for the child and remarked, “We cannot terminate the child.” The court also discussed medical opinions indicating a strong possibility of the child being born with serious physical or mental deformities if the premature pregnancy were to continue.

This case presents a significant legal and ethical challenge as it touches on fundamental issues of reproductive rights, fetal health, and maternal choice, prompting the Supreme Court to carefully weigh these conflicting considerations in its upcoming decision on October 16.

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