Termination of Pregnancy Allowed by Kerala High Court to 10-year-old Rape Victim

pregnant lady, black and white background, has a ring on her finger, abortion

Tanvi Pilane

Published on: March 12, 2022 at 11:51 IST

A 10-year-old Girl Impregnated by her own father was allowed by the Kerala High Court to terminate her pregnancy.

Justice PV Kunhikrishnan directed that as the girl is 31 weeks pregnant, the hospital will have to ensure the best medical treatment for the newborn if the baby is alive. If the parents were unwilling to take responsibility for the child, the High Court directed the State Government and the Child Welfare Committee to do so.

The Court was approached by the mother of the girl, hailing from Kollam district, seeking permission under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971. On Monday, the Court directed that a Medical Board be formed to evaluate the stage of pregnancy, subsequent to admitting the application. In its report, the Medical Board said that the girl would require operative delivery which is prone to surgical and anesthesia-related risks.

The Report also stated, “At 30 weeks 6 days, there is an 80 percent chance of the baby surviving. There is a Risk of Neonatal Morbidities and need for NICU (Neonatal intensive care unit) care and also adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes for the new-born baby.”

The Report added that the doctors were bound, legally and medically to resuscitate and give proper care to the newborn at 30 weeks and 6 days.

The alleged culprit is her own father. If the allegation is correct, I am ashamed of and of course, the entire society should bow its head for the same reason. I am sure that the long arm of our legal system will punish him in a manner known to law. Since the victim child is only 10 years old, there is a chance for medical complications to her health. Considering the entire facts and circumstances of the case, according to me, this is a case in which this court should invoke the jurisdiction keeping in mind the Almighty,’’, Justice Kunhikrishnan said while issuing the order.

Also read:

Sexual and Reproductive Rights of Women and the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2021

Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Act, 2021– An Analysis

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