ibnlive » India

Aug 05, 2008 at 07:51pm IST

No need to amend abortion law: Ramadoss

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Monday rejected the plea of the Mehtas, who wanted to abort their 26-week-old foetus after tests and reports showed that the baby has a congenital heart defect.

The Mehtas' advocate, Amit Kharkhanis, told CNN-IBN that they are not ruling out the option of filing an appeal in the Supreme Court. “We haven't taken a decision yet. We are waiting for the copy of the High Court ruling,” he added.

The High Court’s verdict came after its committee of doctors said that there were less chances of the child being handicapped after birth.

And Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss is firmly supporting the abortion law.

“I don’t think there is any need. Just by one example there is no need to change the abortion law existing for last 30 years,” said Ramadoss.

Meanwhile, the Church has also joined in the debate. The Archbishop of Mumbai, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, says his church is willing to adopt the baby to help ease the parent's suffering.

“The Church stands against abortion. People have a misconception that parents give life and hence they are supporting it. We are willing to adopt the child and provide it with a good life,” said Cardinal.

He also advocated counselling for the couple.

In a similar effort to protect the unborn baby, CEO of Jaslok Hospital, Mumbai Colonel Masant said they will bear the complete cost of the surgery and pacemaker if the family desires so.

The Mehtas approached the court after their doctor said that the foetus has congenital heart block and would always need a pacemaker to survive.

However, the court refused to go against the 37-year-old Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MPT) Act , which says that pregnancy cannot be terminated after twenty weeks unless the mother is at risk.

“There has been oversight by legislature in Section 5 of the MTP Act in not including abortion beyond 24 weeks, if the child is deformed. But we cannot legislate on Section 5,” Justice Khandeparkar and Justice Amjad Sayed had said while giving the order.

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