HC nod to teen rape survivor to end pregnancy ‘in interest of future’Updated: Jul 05, 2020 00:03 IST
The Bombay high court (HC) on June 30 allowed a 17-year-old rape survivor to get her 26-week pregnancy medically terminated, despite the medical board stating that it was unsafe for the minor to undergo the procedure.
The bench of justice KK Tated and justice Milind Jadhav allowed the girl to get her pregnancy medically terminated, primarily because despite being appraised of the risks involved in the process, both the minor and her father expressed their desire to go ahead with the procedure “in the interest of the minor’s future”.
According to the survivor’s father, on June 10, the girl felt a pain in her stomach following which a doctor confirmed that she was pregnant.
Six days later, her father filed a complaint with Vakola police in Santacruz, alleging that his daughter was raped and the assault had resulted in an unwanted pregnancy. A first information report (FIR) was registered basis on his complaint.
The father then moved the high court seeking permission for medical termination of pregnancy (MTP), as his daughter’s unwanted pregnancy had crossed 20 weeks of gestation – the outer limit set by the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, 1971. He prayed for permission on the grounds that his daughter’s mental and physical health was at serious risk because of the pregnancy, and that there was an inherent risk to her life due to her young age.
On June 23, HC referred the minor to a medical board at KEM Hospital. Two days later, the board submitted its report opining that “the patient should be advised to continue the pregnancy with medical and psychological support”.
However, on June 26, HC sought a further report from the medical board, indicating whether it would be safe for the minor to undergo the MTP procedure. Accordingly, the board submitted another report on June 29, stating that in the case of advanced pregnancies, the chance of haemorrhage is higher.
The second report also highlighted the chance of infection and that “it could lead to a catastrophe like infertility, ectopic pregnancy that is potentially fatal”.
The report stated that if the termination were to be a failure, the girl would require a Cesarean operation, which would then lead to scarring. “[The scar] is more likely to give way in any subsequent pregnancy as and when it may occur. Depending on the situation, that may need a hysterectomy – removal of uterus,” it mentioned.