Kerala High Court allows Medical termination to a 26-week pregnant minor rape victim

Kerala high court law insider)

Anushka Mansharamani

On 5th January, the Kerala High Court granted permission for the termination of a minor rape victim who was 26-week pregnant.

The civil writ petition was heard by Justice P.V. Asha who stated that the continuation of the pregnancy was against the safety interest of the 15-year-old victim.

The victim along with her parents had approached the Kerala High Court stating the interests and risks involved in the pregnancy.

The First Information Report was filed in Thrikkodithanam Police Station and the civil writ petition was filed in the court and medical reports of 9th and 15th December 2020 were presented.

According to the medical report, the gestational age was 22 weeks 6 days as on 9th December 2020.

The petition stated that the victim was not mentally equipped to accept the pregnancy and that there was risk involved as she was subjected to trauma and sexual assault.

On 29th December, the Court passed an interim order instructing Kottayam, District Medical Officer to appoint a medical board with all concerned specialists to conduct tests and file a report before the court traversing through the entire aspects.

The Kerala High Court stated that as per Section 5 of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy, it was permitted to terminate the pregnancy after the gestation period of 20 weeks in cases where it would be necessary to save the life of the woman.

It further relied on the various precedents where the Supreme Court passed an order for the safety of the woman and allowed for medical termination after a period of 25-26 weeks.

The Kerala High Court stated that keeping in mind the trauma she has undergone, the Court thinks that she is not prepared to deliver the child.

It further noted the opinion of the medical board which stated the high risks involved due to the trauma and sexual assault.

Therefore, the Court instructed Superintendent of Government Medical College, Kottayam to terminate the pregnancy.

The doctors were directed to take the tissue of the foetus for DNA identification and to maintain it as the criminal case was still pending before the court.

Lastly, the court stated that if the child is born alive due to any reason, everything which is feasible in the circumstances and following the law prescribed should be offered to the child so that he/ she develops into a healthy child.

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