SC allows 13-year-old Mumbai rape victim to terminate 32-week pregnancy
The Supreme Court order comes after a panel of doctors at Mumbai’s JJ Hospital said the pregnancy posed a risk to girl’s life.Updated: Sep 06, 2017 15:28 IST
The Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed a 13-year-old rape victim from Mumbai to terminate her 32-week pregnancy on medical grounds.
The procedure will be carried out on Friday at Mumbai’s JJ Hospital, said the girl’s lawyer.
The order came after a panel of doctors at the hospital said the pregnancy posed a risk to girl’s life. A source in the hospital told HT that according to the doctors’ report, both termination and carrying the baby to the full term -- 36 weeks -- would pose equal risks to the girl.
The report cautioned that the baby born will be preterm and ‘will have its own complications’. The baby will need neonatal intensive care unit admission. The report added that the mortality of the baby could be avoided if the pregnancy is maintained for full term.
India has a 20-week legal ceiling on abortion except when there is a risk to mother’s life.
The girl’s parents had learnt about their daughter’s pregnancy only during the 29th week of her pregnancy, when the mother took her to a local doctor as she had put on a lot of weight. They moved Supreme Court on August 23.
The court in the last few months has been flooded by petitions from rape victims, many of them minors, seeking permission for abortion. In many cases the pregnancy was too advanced for the procedure to be carried out.
On the court’s directions, the Centre last week issued instructions to all states and Union territories to set up a permanent medical board to promptly decide cases of pregnant women and girls seek nod for abortion.
The court issued the directions after it refused permission to a 10-year-old rape survivor from Chandigarh to abort 32-week foetus.
(With inputs from Aayushi Pratap)