Guwahati News Desk: Emphasizing on the freedom of a pregnant woman in making a choice, as to whether the pregnancy should be continued or not, the Kerala High Court has permitted termination of a 26 week long pregnancy of a minor rape victim, at her risk.
The court stated that under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, where any pregnancy is alleged by the pregnant woman to have been caused by rape, the anguish caused by such pregnancy shall be presumed to constitute a grave injury to the mental health of the pregnant woman.
The court said that in view of the provision under the Act and having regard to the victim’s age and the circumstances of her pregnancy, its continuance “would involve grave injury to her physical and mental health” and “it is in the interest of justice to permit medical termination of the pregnancy”. It also directed that if the foetus survives the process, the hospital authorities would have to ensure that the baby’s life is protected. Infact, the court also directed the hospital to preserve blood and tissue samples of the foetus to carry out necessary medical tests, including DNA mapping.
As per the sources, the order came on a plea moved by the minor rape victim and her parents, seeking a direction to the Kozhikode Medical College to medically terminate her pregnancy as the hospital was refusing to carry out the procedure in view of its advanced stage.
Eventually, the court allowed the plea after a medical board, which examined the girl, gave a report stating that she might require multiple inductions to abort the foetus, failing which surgical intervention may be required.