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Rajasthan HC allows 15-year-old rape victim to terminate 22-week pregnancy

The Rajasthan high court allowed a 15-year-old girl who was allegedly raped, to terminate her 22-week pregnancy after a medical board submitted that the foetus had a medical condition due to which it had “very little or no chance of survival.”

jaipur Updated: Jun 19, 2018 21:30 IST
Dinesh Bothra
Dinesh Bothra
Hindustan Times, Jodhpur
rape victim,pregnancy,medical board
In its report, the medical board of Dr SN Medical College, Jodhpur, stated that the foetus had anencephaly or absence of a major portion of the brain, skull, and scalp. Continuing with the pregnancy may also endanger the mother’s life, it said.(AFP/Photo for representation)

The Rajasthan high court on Tuesday allowed a 15-year-old girl who was allegedly raped, to terminate her 22-week pregnancy after a medical board submitted that the foetus had a medical condition due to which it had “very little or no chance of survival.”

In its report, the medical board of Dr SN Medical College, Jodhpur, stated that the foetus had anencephaly or absence of a major portion of the brain, skull, and scalp. Continuing with the pregnancy may also endanger the mother’s life, it said.

“There is no chance of survival of the infant, which suffers from intrinsic defect, and the mother’s life may also be endangered,” a division bench of justices Sandeep Mehta and Dr Pushpendra Singh Bhati said allowing the termination of pregnancy.

The court gave the order after the girl’s parents filed a written consent on her behalf that they were ready to take the risk of medical termination of pregnancy. At present, she is carrying a foetus of 21 weeks and 5 days.

As per section 3 of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971, a pregnancy exceeding 20 weeks cannot be terminated except with the consent of the pregnant woman. In case of minor, the permission has to be given by her guardian.

The girl, through her mother, had filed a petition seeking permission to medically terminate her pregnancy. She also prayed that the state government and other respondents be directed to pay her “a compensation of Rs 50 lakh for her own welfare and welfare of her (to be born) ward.”

During the hearing, the bench apprised the minor and her parents, who were present in the court, of the intrinsic risk to the petitioner’s life in case of medical termination of pregnancy at this advanced stage. However, they firmly expressed that they were prepared to take the risk. “The girl’s parents have filed a written consent on her behalf that they are ready to subject the petitioner to medical termination of pregnancy,” the bench said.

First Published: Jun 19, 2018 21:30 IST