Does an unborn child with disability have
the right to live?
Dear All, I’m sure those of you who hear the news on television have been hearing the news about how the Bombay High Court on 4th August 2008 rejected the plea of Niketa and Harish Mehta to abort their 24-week-old foetus.
Doctors say their unborn child may have a congenital heart defect, but the disability is not serious enough to cause a handicap. the child however will require a pacemaker from birth. The Court ruled that a predicted disability is no ground for abortion. The parents argue they will not be able to afford the constant medical costs that they will be burdened with after the birth of their child.
India has the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act 1971 and this is the first case that has challenged it. Being deeply concerned about issues of disability, I have been trying, over the last two days to formulate a response to this story and it is here that I came across the website of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children. This link is worth a read – http://www.spuc.org.uk/students/abortion/disability