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Aug 04, 2008 at 04:26pm IST

Abortion debate: Bombay HC verdict today | Your say

New Delhi: The Bombay High Court will give a verdict on the Mehtas’ case today. The couple from Mumbai has challenged the 37-year-old abortion law of the country. They have sought permission to terminate a 24 weeks pregnancy because the foetus has a congenital heart defect.

Nikita Mehta is 24 weeks pregnant but she wants to abort because the foetus has been diagnosed with a congenital heart problem. According to the law, pregnancy cannot be terminated after the twentieth week unless there is a health risk for the mother.

“I am firm that I don't want this baby because the baby will suffer after the birth. My suffering and my family's suffering is another story,” says Nikita.

Doctors say the probability of the foetus surviving nine months is very low and even if the child is born he or she will have to be fitted with a pacemaker, which will have to be replaced after every four years.

“Normally congenital heart defects and other chromosomal anomalies in a foetus can be confirmed only between 20- 24th week of the pregnancy. But an abortion at this stage is illegal. Does this situation call for an amendment in the law? Opinion is strongly divided in medical and legal circles,” says Priya Hingorani Advocate Supreme Court.

“ I think the law is wrong,” says Anita Kaul Head of Foetal expert Apollo giving her opinion on the issue.

“We live in a world where anyone who is different is not wanted. We know we might live in a world where we want our children to fairskinned, brilliant and super intelligent,” says Merry Barua Director Action for Autism.

The debate on the issue is raging on and everyone has something different to say on the issue. But, the fate of the foetus will be decided by the Bombay High Court today.

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