The Punjab and Haryana high court has declined abortion prayer of a mother of a 12-year-old pregnant rape victim.
The girl’s mother had moved the high court seeking directions to the authorities to abort the child since the victim was a minor. She had apprehended danger to the girl’s life if the pregnancy was continued.
A first information report in the case was lodged on February 19, 2015, following a medical examination confirming that the victim was pregnant.
The girl’s mother had stated that on February 24, she went to Kalpana Chawla Medical Hospital in Karnal for the termination the victim’s pregnancy. But it refused to do so stating that the girl was 28-30 weeks pregnant. Following this, the girl’s mother approached the high court.
On March 20, the high court asked the Karnal district medical officer to constitute a committee to assess if there was any threat to the victim’s life if the pregnancy was continued. If it was found that there was a threat to the victim’s life, the powers under Section 5 of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act be exercised (the abortion be carried out), the court ordered.
Following the high court directions, the Karnal health authorities referred the case to the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh. A medical board was constituted consisting of experts from the departments of obstetrics and gynaecology, paediatric medicine, forensic medicine and radio diagnosis and imaging. The board concluded that there was no danger to the life of the victim if the pregnancy was continued. But the report underlined that the teenage pregnancy was high-risk and needed regular supervision.
“In the light the medical board opinion, no further action can be taken by the court with regard to the prayer made by the petitioner,” the HC said, refusing to issue directions for the termination of pregnancy. The court directed the Karnal chief medical officer to provide all medical help to the victim as and when required.