Minor rape victim moves HC for aborting 26-week-old foetus
A 13-year-old victim of rape today approached the Bombay High Court seeking permission to terminate her 26-week pregnancy
A 13-year-old victim of rape today approached the Bombay High Court seeking permission to terminate her 26-week pregnancy. The girl's father has sought the permission for abortion on the ground that she is physically not capable to bear and deliver a baby and that she be saved from the mental and physical anguish that may be caused to her if she continues with the pregnancy.
On the plea of the girl's father, a bench of justices Shantanu Kemkar and G S Kulkarni directed the civic-run KEM Hospital's medical board of expert doctors to examine her present health condition to determine whether a medical termination of pregnancy will be safe at this stage. Abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy is not allowed in the country under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act.
According to the plea, the girl was repeatedly raped by her cousin, who used to live in the house of her parents. The pregnancy came to light on November 7 after the girl complained of pains in the abdomen and was subsequently taken to a doctor by her parents. Subsequently, an FIR was registered by the police on November 17.
A compulsory medical test of the victim revealed that she was 24-weeks pregnant at that time. The plea argued that considering the young age of the victim, she must not be forced to continue with the pregnancy that was the result of rape.
"Forcing the girl to continue with an unwanted pregnancy will deprive her of her right to safeguard the
privacy of procreation, motherhood and child-bearing, as guaranteed under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution," the petitioner said.
The plea also cited research claiming that the "risk of maternal mortality could be five times higher for mothers aged 10 to 14 than for those aged above 20 years".