The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to allow a woman, who is in her 26th week of pregnancy, to abort her foetus on the ground that it suffered from 'down syndrome', saying "we have a life in our hands".
The apex court said that as per a report of the medical board constituted to examine the 37-year-old woman, there was no physical risk to the mother in continuation of pregnancy.
A bench of Justices S A Bobde and L N Rao observed that though "everybody knows that children with down syndrome are undoubtedly less intelligent, but they are fine people."
The bench said as per the report, the foetus is "likely to have mental and physical challenges" but the advise of the doctors does not warrant termination of pregnancy.
"With this report, we don't think we are going to allow termination of pregnancy. We have a life in our hands," the bench said.
"In these circumstances, as per the present advise, it is not possible to grant permission to terminate the pregnancy," the court said.
Down syndrome is a congenital disorder which causes intellectual impairment and physical abnormalities.