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Saturday, Oct 19, 2019

Mumbai teen rape survivor’s family relieved with SC nod for abortion, says doctor

Doctors questioned why it took almost a month for justice to be delivered to the girl

mumbai Updated: Sep 07, 2017 10:19 IST
Aayushi Pratap
Aayushi Pratap
Hindustan Times
(HT File)

While some doctors hailed the Supreme Court’s decision to allow a 13-year-old rape survivor to terminate her pregnancy at 32 weeks, others say that the foetus might survive, as it already weighs 1.7kg.

Dr Nikhil Datar, a city based gynaecologist, who helped her family file the petition for medical termination of pregnancy in the apex court, said the girl’s relatives were overwhelmed with the judgement and ‘extremely relieved’.

“It is a path-breaking, historic judgement as it relives the girl of emotional and physical trauma. Our judicial activism started in 2008, but will be complete only when the law is amended to extend the abortion deadline to 24 weeks from the present 20 weeks,” said Dr Datar.

He, however, questioned why it had to take almost a month for justice to be delivered to the girl, considering every advancing week of pregnancy was adding to her physical and mental trauma.

Sneha Mukherjee, advocate, said, “In cases of abortion, it takes about two to two-and-half weeks from the time the petition is filed to the time when the main verdict is given. This case was exceptional, as there were lot of delays owing to the father’s unavailability and the floods in Mumbai.” She added that such events reiterate the need to extend the legal abortion deadline.

Meanwhile, gynaecologists said that in this case, the pregnancy has reached a stage where termination would mean a premature delivery.

Dr Ashok Anand, head of gynaecology, Sir JJ Hospital, Byculla who has evaluated the teen, said the new-born will most probably require neonatal intensive care unit.

“At present, the foetus weighs 1.7 kg. With this weight, once it’s delivered, the baby will have higher chances of developing infections, hypothermia (a drop in body temperature) and respiratory complications,” Dr Anand said.

First Published: Sep 07, 2017 10:19 IST

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