Bombay HC Denies Termination Of Pregnancy To Minor Following Medical Board’s Report

Bombay HC Denies Termination Of Pregnancy To Minor Following Medical Board’s Report

The court refused permission while relying on the medical board’s report which said that at the advanced stage of pregnancy, termination would result in the birth of a live child.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Thursday, April 11, 2024, 08:28 PM IST
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Bombay HC | PTI

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court dismissed a petition seeking medical termination of pregnancy for a minor rape survivor’s 28-week pregnancy. 

The court refused permission while relying on the medical board’s report which said that at the advanced stage of pregnancy, termination would result in the birth of a live child. 

The HC was hearing a petition by the 15-year-old’s mother seeking HC’s permission for medical termination of her daughter’s pregnancy to safeguard her life claiming that the pregnancy was causing her mental agony. ““She (minor) has the right to terminate her pregnancy. It is difficult for her to continue with the pregnancy which is causing mental agony to her,” the plea contended. 

The mother also sought that the minor be provided free medical facilities, counselling and compensation under the Manodhairya scheme. The petition highlighted the victim's dire circumstances, stressing the mental anguish she endured due to the pregnancy. 

An FIR was registered by Turbhe MIDC police on March 20 after the mother complained that her minor daughter was sexually assaulted. The FIR was registered under various sections of the IPC and POCSO. 


Medical Board's Observations In The Matter

However, the medical board comprising doctors from Radiology, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Medicine, and Anesthesia departments concluded that the termination of pregnancy was not advisable.

The Medical Board's assessment revealed that the victim's pregnancy, at 28 weeks, presented a scenario where a live, viable preterm baby would result from termination, requiring neonatal intensive care. The Board's decision, based on the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971, and subsequent amendments, emphasised the absence of substantial fetal abnormalities warranting termination after the 24-week threshold.

A bench of Justice NR Borkar and PD Naik hence refused to grant permission observing: “The medical termination of pregnancy is at this advanced gestational age will bear the same risk and consequences as that of delivery of term… As the pregnancy is of advanced gestational age and has no fetal anomalies, medical termination of pregnancy is denied.” 

The court has directed the state to provide all necessary medical facilities to the minor before and after delivery and also directed to grant compensation. 

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