I’m not sure what happened, but it’s all good. I reported last week, based on several Indian news stories like this, that the Bombay High Court had agreed to let a couple abort their 26-week old baby with a heart blockage, repairable with a pacemaker (or “peacemaker,” according to the Indian story).
The bottom line must have gotten lost in translation, because the front page story yesterday in The Hindu, India’s national newspaper:
The Bombay High Court on Monday rejected the petition filed by Niketa and her husband Haresh Mehta… seeking permission to terminate her pregnancy, now in the 26th week.
The foetus was diagnosed with a complete heart blockage when she was in the 24th week of pregnancy. The couple wanted to abort the child for fear it would suffer for life….
A Bench… said there was “no categorical opinion” from medical experts that “if the child were born …, it would be seriously handicapped.” Moreover, there was no provision in the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971, to end pregnancy after the 20th week. Only in exceptional cases of danger to the health of the pregnant woman could abortion be allowed, said Justice Khandeparkar. In this case, “no exceptional case has been made out.”
“I am not strong enough to handle this. I have lost my courage. I don’t kow who to blame: God, society or the system? But I believe in God. It was God who gave me Haresh, such a good husband, and again it was God who gave me the baby. I don’t know what went wrong.”
“It’s not that I would deliver the baby now only to give it away,” was Niketa’s response to the news that NGOs [nongovernment organizations] were willing to take care of the baby. “I am not heartless. My child’s not a burden. But it is less painful to end it now rather than see your child in front of you.”