Teen denied permission to abort 27-week foetus

The Asian Age.

Metros, Mumbai

The law does not allow termination of pregnancy after 20 weeks.

Bombay High Court

Mumbai: The Bombay high court on Friday denied permission to a 16-year-old rape survivor, who was in her 27th week of pregnancy, to undergo an abortion.

The HC gave the order after going through the report of a panel of doctors which examined her. The panel of doctors from KEM hospital and GS Medical College had submitted a report advising that the girl continue with the pregnancy because  of the potential risks to her health if pregnancy is terminated at such a late stage.

The victim’s father had approached the HC seeking permission to terminate her pregnancy. While hearing the petition, the division bench of Justice Ranjit More and Justice Prakash Deu Naik had asked a panel of expert doctors to examine her and file a report.  As per the girl’s complaint with Thane police, a delivery boy had raped and sexually assaulted her after promising marriage.

The victim’s father told the court that raising a child born out of rape would cause further mental and physical trauma to her. he said his daughter was not in good health and was suffering from anaemia.

On Friday, the petitioner’s lawyer argued that the girl has right to live with dignity as guaranteed by the Constitution. But the bench observed, “The obstetric examination shows 26 to 27 weeks pregnancy with viable foetus. There is no abnormality detected in the foetus. The board of eight doctors has opined that the girl continue with the pregnancy with medical and psychological support.”

The law does not permit the termination of pregnancy after 20 weeks unless the mother’s life is in danger. The judges noted that doctors’ panel has suggested in its report that if the girl and her family did not wish to raise the child, they could give it up for adoption. The judges dismissed the petition in light of the above report.

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