A young woman who petitioned the India Supreme Court to have a later term abortion had her unborn baby aborted this week, the Hindustan Times reports.
On Monday, the Asian nation’s high court granted the young woman’s request to have an abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, the legal limit in India, according to India Today.
Her unborn baby is now dead, and she is recovering at the RN Cooper Hospital in India, according to the latest report.
“The abortion went well. The patient is doing good,” said Dr. Rina Wani, an OB-GYN at the hospital.
Wani said they plan to conduct a psychological evaluation on the woman and then discharge her in a day or two. The doctors did not mention anything about the woman’s unborn child, but they described the abortion as a success.
The 26-year-old woman who requested the abortion allegedly was raped by her ex-fiance who later refused to marry her, the news outlet Tehelka reports. Then, more than 20 weeks into the pregnancy, the woman said doctors detected abnormalities in her unborn child. Reports indicate that her unborn baby has anencephaly, an often fatal disorder where the baby’s brain and skull do not form properly.
She was 24-weeks pregnant when she had the abortion this week, according to the latest reports. Unborn babies generally are considered viable outside the womb at 24 weeks of pregnancy, though new research indicates that babies are surviving even earlier. Most countries prohibit abortions after the first trimester or, as is the case in India, during the mid-second trimester.
In her case, the Asian country’s Supreme Court allowed an exception to its current law banning abortions after 20 weeks, except when the mother’s life is threatened. The Tribune India reports that the high court judges based their decision on medical testimony indicating that the young woman’s life was in danger if she did not have the abortion. However, reports did not indicate details of her condition.
Cultural perceptions about people with disabilities and females make them frequent targets for abortion in India. Sex-selection abortions, though illegal, are a major problem in India and other Asian countries. India’s prime minister and other leaders even have launched specific campaigns to help end these discriminatory abortions.