A balance between the rights of the mother and the foetus is to be maintained – Kerala High Court

The Kerala High Court denies termination of a 31-week pregnancy stating that the unborn has a right to be born if there’s no threat to the life and health of the mother.

The bench headed by Justice P.B Suresh Kumar observed that the unborn has a right to be born from the moment the foetus is alive and that an unborn has its own right to life which are to be recognised by the law. He right to life of an unborn are equivalent to the fundamental right of the mother.

In the present case, a woman who is 31-weeks pregnant contended that there are substantial foetal abnormalities and that she was being denied termination of pregnancy. The Medical Board in its report has stated that terminating the pregnancy would lead to birth of an alive baby who would be premature and thus in its report recommended the woman to continue the pregnancy.

The Court observed that although as per the Amendment Act of 2021, the termination of pregnancy became lawful even after 24 weeks but since the Medical Board did not report any substantial foetal abnormalities the relief sought cannot be granted. The Court further held that a balance between the rights of the mother and the foetus is to be maintained.

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