The panel of doctors that reviewed the pregnancy of a teenage rape survivor has turned down her family’s request for medical termination, citing ‘advanced pregnancy’ as the reason.
The decision, made public on Monday, has quashed the last hope of the victim and her family to get an abortion.
According to the findings of the medical board, the girl’s ultrasound and other medical tests show that she is “32 to 33 weeks pregnant”. The report states that “termination of pregnancy in such an advanced stage was not suggested as per the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act.”
Bareilly chief medical officer (CMO) Dr Vijay Yadav said, “The doctors have compiled their medical review report and it will be handed over to the family’s counsel.”
The CMO was directed by the Allahabad high court to look into the matter after hearing the petition of the girl’s father seeking an abortion. On his directions, the victim was examined by a panel of two gynaecologists last Thursday.
The 14-year-old girl was repeatedly raped by a man on the pretext of marriage. Once she conceived, he left her. The young rape survivor and her family were not ready to allow the child to be born and thus filed an appeal seeking an abortion. The appeal was first declined by a lower court and then by a fast track court (rape) in Bareilly.
- July 26: Girl’s family moves petition before lower court for abortion
- August 4: They approach fast track court with the petition
- August 13: Court declines permission
- August 22: Teenager’s family moves application before HC for termination of pregnancy
- August 29: Court asks girl’s father to move application before chief medical officer (CMO)
- September 3: Victim’s counsel meets CMO, who allegedly declines to act
- September 5: Family approaches district magistrate
- September 12: Doctors that reviewed the pregnancy turn down request for medical termination.
The girl’s family said that their future had been left in a lurch. “The system has declined to accept termination of her pregnancy and my society is not ready to accept her with it,” said the girl’s father.
He added, “People in my village have already started talking about her. They hold her responsible for it (rape). Now, this child will add to our misery and we will be made outcasts.”
The father also fears that his family could be forced out of the village. “His (accused) family is rich and they will make it impossible for us to live here.”
“I don’t know where will she deliver the child and what will happen to it but I will not allow that child in my home. The doctors or someone from the court who declined permission for termination should keep it,” said the survivor’s mother.
The father, who alleges being constantly hounded by local police and the family of the accused, said that he had been forced to think about leaving the village.