13 year old allowed to terminate her 32 week foetus by an order from the SC

On September 6, 2017, the Hon’ble Supreme Court allowed a 13 year old rape victim to terminate her pregnancy.

The aggrieved, who was in her 32nd week of her pregnancy had petitioned in the Apex Court after her parents got to know about the pregnancy after the completion of 29 weeks, on a visit to the doctor. As the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act does not allow the abortion of a foetus after the completion of 20 weeks, the parents had filed the present petition.

The Three Judge Bench, during the hearing, expressed its concern over the age of the victim and stated that “Considering the age of the petitioner (rape survivor), the trauma she has suffered because of sexual abuse, the agony she is going through and the opinion of the medical board favoring termination of pregnancy, the termination of pregnancy should be allowed,”

It was even submitted, by the Counsel of behalf of the Petitioners, that the victim was deeply disturbed by the knowledge of her pregnancy and therefore it was vital to abort the foetus.

The issue revolving around the abortion of fetuses by rape victims has also been in the news for quite some time after the Centre, on the orders of the Court, has endeavored in setting up Medical Boards in all the States and Union Territories, to decide upon the legality and possibility in the various cases, following the denial of abortion to a 10 year old victim.

Senior advocate Indira Jaising who is the petitioner in the aforementioned case, had also argued that the delay in offering urgent medical help to such abused women and children have led to untold suffering for them. She had submitted that “for a 10-year-old, pregnancy is indeed a ‘life-threatening’ situation warranting immediate medical intervention under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act of 1971.”

The court has ordered that the medical procedure should be preferably conducted on September 8 at JJ Hospital in Mumbai.

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