SC to hear 13-year-old rape survivor's plea for abortion today
The Supreme Court will today hear the plea of a 13-year-old rape survivor from Chandigarh, who is seeking permission to abort her 30-week-old foetus. In the last hearing, the Apex Court had directed the Chandigarh administration to give an immediate financial assistance of Rs one lakh each to the victim and her mother.
The minor girl's mother moved the apex court, seeking its permission to terminate the pregnancy of her daughter. Earlier, on July 28, the top court had rejected a petition, on medical grounds, filed by another 10-year-old rape victim, who sought permission to terminate her 32-week-old pregnancy. The minor girl had recently delivered a child in Chandigarh.
The order came after reviewing the medical reports, which said, abortion would neither be good for the girl, nor for the foetus. On a related note, during the historical verdict on Right to Privacy last week, the nine-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice J.S. Khehar, discussed the debate surrounding abortions. The verdict on the issue said that right to terminate life falls in zone of right to privacy.
"A woman's freedom of choice whether to bear a child or abort her pregnancy is areas which fall in the realm of privacy. To sanctify an argument that whatever is not found in the text of the Constitution cannot become a part of the Constitution would be too primitive an understanding of the Constitution and contrary to settled cannons of constitutional interpretation. Such an approach regarding the rights and liberties of citizens would be an affront to the collective wisdom of our people and the wisdom of the members of the Constituent Assembly. Constitution is not merely a document signed by 284 members of the Constituent Assembly. It is a politically sacred instrument created by men and women who risked lives and sacrificed their liberties to fight alien rulers and secured freedom for our people, not only of their generation but generations to follow. The Constitution cannot be seen as a document written in ink to replace one legal regime by another," the verdict said.
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