We can't kill a child: SC on terminating 26-week pregnancy
New Delhi, Oct 12 (PTI) "We cannot kill a child," the Supreme Court observed on Thursday while hearing the Centre's plea seeking recall of its order allowing a married woman, a mother of two, to terminate her 26-week pregnancy.
While making it clear that the top court has to balance the rights of the unborn child, a "living and viable foetus", with its mother's right of decisional autonomy, a bench headed by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud asked the Centre and her lawyer to talk to the woman about the possibility of retaining the pregnancy for a few weeks more.
"Do you want us to tell the doctors at AIIMS to stop the fetal heart?" the bench, also comprising Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, asked the counsel appearing for the 27-year-old woman.
When the counsel responded with a "no", the bench said when the woman has waited for over 24 weeks, can't she retain the foetus for some more weeks so there is the possibility of a healthy child being born.
The bench has posted the matter for resumed hearing at 10.30 AM on Friday.
The matter came up before the CJI-led bench after a two-judge bench on Wednesday gave a split verdict on the Centre's plea for recall of its October 9 order granting permission to the woman to terminate her 26-week pregnancy.
The apex court had on October 9 allowed the woman to proceed with medical termination of pregnancy after taking note that she was suffering from depression and was not in a position to raise a third child "emotionally, financially and mentally". PTI ABA SJK ABA SK SK