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May 23, 2024 3:37 pm

SC allows abortion of minor rape survivor

The Fact News Service
New Delhi, April 22

The Supreme Court on Monday allowed medical termination of the pregnancy of a 14-year-old rape survivor while noting that continuing the pregnancy may harm the physical and mental health of the minor.

A bench of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justice JB Pardiwala, allowing the girl to undergo abortion who is over 29 weeks pregnant, held that the urgency of the situation and the welfare of the minor necessitated the medical termination of pregnancy.

“We will allow the medical termination since she is 14 years old and it is a rape case, and this is an exceptional case. Every passing hour is very crucial for her,” the bench said.

The order of the top court came after the recommendation of a medical team, which said the continuation of the pregnancy would affect the physical and mental well-being of the minor.

The top court took note of the report of doctors who had recommended that a “certain degree of risk” was attached to the medical termination of the pregnancy, but the threat to her life was not higher than delivery at full term.The bench also set aside the Bombay High Court order declining the plea seeking medical termination of her pregnancy.

On Friday, the bench ordered a medical examination of the victim to be held at Sion Hospital, Maharashtra, on Saturday and posted the matter for hearing on April 22.The apex court had ordered that the medical examination look into the possible mental and physical impacts on the minor in the event of allowing such a termination.

The victim’s mother approached the top court, challenging the Bombay High Court order of April 4, 2024, which declined to grant the relief of termination.

The apex court on Friday noted that the medical report relied upon by the High Court failed to evaluate the physical and mental status of the minor victim, specifically in light of the context of the alleged sexual assault.

Under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, the upper limit for termination of pregnancy is 24 weeks for married women as well as for those in special categories, including rape survivors, and other vulnerable women, such as the differently abled and minors.


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