Mumbai: 13-year-old rape survivor approaches Bombay High Court for abortion

Mumbai: A 13-year-old rape survivor from Mumbai has approached the Bombay High Court for permission to abort her 25-week-old foetus on Tuesday on the ground that she is physically ill-equipped to bear and deliver a child so that she can be saved from the mental and physical anguish that will be caused if she continues with the pregnancy. The HC accordingly asked KEM Hospital to conduct a complete physiological and psychological status report of the woman, to determine whether a medical termination will be safe at this late stage, and submit it by Monday.

The Ghatkopar resident was allegedly raped by her own cousin over a period of two months. Sources said that after a local physician informed the family about her pregnancy during a visit, the family failed to avail a sonography report as allegedly every radiologist they visited, refused to be involved in the matter. “Family members said that since it was an underage rape case, the radiologists said they wouldn’t be able to do the sonography. Finally, the family visited a local police station from Ghatkopar and filed a case under Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012,” said a lawyer of the petitioner.

On November 19, after the First Information Report was filed, doctors conducted a sonography and informed the family that the foetus is 25-weeks-old and can’t be aborted as per Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act 1971, which allows abortion only until the gestation period of 21 weeks. The Bombay HC heard the case on Tuesday and will take a decision on Monday after considering the report submitted by KEM Hospital’s expert committee.

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