Gujarat HC refuses abortion for teenage rape victim
Gujarat high court has denied a 14-year-old girl a late-term abortion after she was allegedly raped by a doctor, the victim's lawyer said on Friday.
The high court on Thursday rejected the petition filed by the father of the girl, saying India's abortion law does not allow termination of pregnancy after 20 weeks, or five months.
In this case, the pregnancy was in the 24th week.
Judge Abhilasha Kumari also directed the district administration to take care of the victim and pay her a compensation of Rs one lakh.
"The father of the victim is a labourer and does not have enough resources to take care of the child to be born... The parents are yet to decide if they want to approach higher forum," the teenager's lawyer, Pradip Bhate, told AFP.
Judge Abhilasha Kumari said it was a "difficult" decision, but added that "whatever be the circumstances in which the child was conceived, whatever the trauma of the young mother, the fact remains that the child is also not to blame for being conceived".
"It did not ask to be born... The child is innocent, just like the victim, its mother," Kumari said.
According to the petition, the girl was raped by a doctor whom she had visited in February for treatment of typhoid. The doctor injected a sedative and raped her after she fell unconscious.
The police subsequently registered a case and arrested the doctor.
The girl's father first approached the Himmatnagar sessions court seeking termination of her pregnancy, saying that she was in no position to take care of the child.
But the sessions court rejected the petition as the pregnancy had crossed 20 weeks. The High Court upheld the lower court's ruling.
In April, in a similar case, the High Court had denied permission to terminate pregnancy of a rape victim from Botad town as the foetus was 28 weeks old.
(AFP and PTI inputs)