Supreme Court allows 13-year-old rape survivor to abort her 32-week-old pregnancy

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed a 13-year-old rape survivor from Mumbai to terminate her 32-week-old pregnancy after taking note of the medical report and the “trauma of sexual abuse” suffered by her. A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra directed that the medical procedure should be conducted on the girl at the earliest, preferably on September 8, after it took note of the report of the apex court-appointed medical board comprising doctors of J J Hospital.

The victim, a Mumbai resident and VIIth standard student, had to knock at the doors of the apex court as the law prohibits abortion of a foetus after 20 weeks of pregnancy. It was a race against time for the victim whose pregnancy was at an advanced stage. The apex court ordered setting up the medical board on August 28 to examine her after two days. However, her examination could not take place on August 31 as massive rains lashed Mumbai. It was finally conducted on September one.

Later, the concerned bench did not assemble on the dates fixed leading the matter to be heard by the bench headed by the CJI, which took note of the medical report and the circumstances and ordered termination of the pregnancy.

OUR STAFF REPORTER ADDS: Pursuant to the court orders, JJ Hospital has made all arrangements for conducting the abortion. It will admit the minor rape victim on September 7 and conduct the operation on September 8. “The girl will be kept in a separate ward, away from prying eyes, and to protect her from getting any infection,” said Dr. Tatyarao Lahane, Dean of JJ Hospital.

However, the hospital is yet to receive a certified copy of the SC order. Talking about complications in such cases, Dr Ashok Anand, gynaecologist, said: “At the age of 13, the pelvis is not fully developed and the vaginal opening is small. There are risks of lacerations.”

During the court hearing, Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, appearing for the Centre, had referred to an earlier order of the apex court in a similar plea filed by a minor rape survivor, hailing from Chandigarh, and said that the permission was denied in that case keeping in view the medical report.

The medical report had said that abortion would neither be good for the girl, nor for the foetus. The minor girl had recently delivered a child in Chandigarh.

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Free Press Journal