HC lets minor rape survivor terminate her 23-week foetus
The Bombay high court (HC) on Tuesday allowed a 13-year-old rape survivor to terminate her 23-week pregnancy, which resulted from the attack by her father.
A division bench of justice Nitin Jamdar and justice NR Borkar allowed the petition filed by the mother of the minor, primarily in view of the report of the medical board at Sir JJ Group of Hospitals.
The board examined the girl on May 23, according to earlier orders of the court, and submitted its report recommending medical termination of the minor’s unwanted pregnancy.
“Continuation of pregnancy in the minor may lead to pregnancy-related complications like anaemia, pregnancy-induced hypertension as well as and complications during labour,” said the medical board in its report. “It will also have a psychological impact on the pregnant minor with an uncertain future. Hence it is advisable to terminate the pregnancy at any convenient hospital of her choice.”
In view of the opinion of the medical board, the bench said it would be necessary to permit the medical termination of pregnancy. The court thus allowed the minor to terminate her unwanted pregnancy at Sir JJ Group of Hospitals.
The court has also directed the state-run hospital to preserve the blood and tissue samples of the foetus to carry out necessary medical tests, including DNA fingerprinting, to be used in the rape case. The investigating officer of the case has been directed to ensure that the samples are forwarded to the forensic science laboratory for analysis and preserved for trial.
According to the petition filed by the minor’s mother, the teenager was sexually abused by her father while she was residing with her aunt at Thane, resulting in her pregnancy. On May 17, a first information report (FIR) was registered with Thane Nagar police station. Two days later, the minor underwent a sonography which revealed that she was 22-weeks pregnant.
The survivor’s mother filed the petition seeking the high court’s permission for termination of the unwanted pregnancy, as under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971, medical termination of pregnancy is not allowed beyond 20 weeks gestational period.