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I am sure doctors, lawyers and human rights experts, all have their own opinions about the just cocluded drama-on-TV about the Mehtas’ plea with the courts to allow them to terminate the pregnancy because, the unborn child has a congenital heart defect. I am bouncing my thoughts off on you: if you have an argument or another opinion, let me know:

 

Anomaly scan, the ultrasound examination to detect major congenital defects in the fetus is reliable between 20 and 24 weeks of pregnancy. Prior to that period, the scans are inaccurate.

 

MTP law in India allows termination up to 20 weeks of pregnancy, but congenital defects in the unborn baby cannot be the reason for termination.

The first issue which needs to be resolved requires a full discussion on ethics: should pregnancies where the fetus has serious birth defects be allowed to be terminated? An analogy exists here: If during late pregnancy, baby is found to have anomalies like hydrocephalus (large water-filled head), often labor is artificially induced with drugs. One of the surgeries described involves decompressing the head of the baby before birth. Here, in fact the baby’s age of gestation is far more advanced than the 26 weeks of Mehtas’ baby. So a serious discussion is required which will address three questions

 

  1. Should MTP law incorporate birth defects for allowing abortions?
  2. If so, in view of the technical factors (anomaly scan being unreliable at 20 weeks, should the maximum limit for abortions be extended to 24 weeks?
  3. What defects are serious enough to merit abortion? Every minor defect cannot be considered just because everyone needs to have perfect babies

 

Before any of this can be seriously debated, one aspect needs to be kept in mind. In India, laws can be easily manipulated to ones’ advantage. For instance, what should prevent an unscrupulous doctor to issue certificates of congenital defect and terminate an unwanted female fetus? Unless, very serious checks and balances are in place, abortion laws can be easily misused.

 

If caution is not exercised, only healthy babies maybe born, but most of them maybe only boys!

 

 

 

 

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2 Comments

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  2. hmmm.okk.
    sooo den watz d solution for it???..


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