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Centre rules out amending abortion laws

August 05, 2008 00:34 IST

The government on Monday ruled out amending abortion laws in consideration of cases like that of Niketa Mehta, who wanted to terminate her 26-week pregnancy as the child would be born with a congenital heart defect.

"As it is today, going by just one case, I do not think the law can be amended," Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting of the National Rural Health Mission in New Delhi [Images].

He, however, said a broad discussion would take place on the issue and all aspects of such cases would be taken into consideration.

"We sympathise with her case and would discuss all other avenues," he said.

The Bombay High Court today disallowed aborting a 26-week foetus with a heart defect after observing that the plea by the young mother to terminate her pregnancy was equivalent to 'mercy killing'.

Dismissing an application by Niketa Mehta, the court observed that medical experts did not express any "categorical opinion that if the child is born it would suffer from serious handicaps."

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