Bombay High Court on Tuesday has granted permission to the 17-year old rape victim to terminate the 25-week pregnancy despite the fact that civic-run KEM Hospital’s report has advised against abortion. After 20 weeks, a woman has to acquire the High Court permission to terminate the pregnancy.
A division bench of Justices K K Tated and Milind Jadhav has given the orders while hearing the petition filed by a 17-year-old rape victim through her father seeking permission to terminate the 25-week pregnancy citing the grounds that her physical and mental health is at risk.
She has lodged the complaint against the perpetrator in Vakola police station in Mumbai.
In the last hearing, the court has directed the petitioner to submit a report after getting medical examined by the medical board of the KEM Hospital in Mumbai.
The KEM hospital board has advised the petitioner to avoid the pregnancy termination and suggested that if the pregnancy is continued, a healthy baby could be delivered and the petitioner and her family could then decide if they want to take care of the baby or put him/her up for adoption.
The court has observed that the petitioner should be able to raise the child with psychological support and counselling.
However, the division bench has noted that in the present case the pregnancy was caused by rape and hence, there is no doubt that continuance of this pregnancy “is causing a grave injury to the mental health of the petitioner”.
Under the provisions of Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, a woman is not allowed to terminate the pregnancy when it has crossed 20 weeks. High Court’s permission is mandatory after this period of time.
Considering the request of the petitioner, Bombay High Court has granted permission to terminate the child even in the 25th week of pregnancy and said, “In case the child is born alive during the termination procedure and if the petitioner and her parents are not willing or are not in a position to take responsibility of the baby, then the state government and the agencies concerned will have to assume full responsibility of the child.”