Gujarat High Court today (28.12.2015) has allowed a rape victim to abort her 8 week old foetus. Justice K.J Thaker has allowed Special application moved by father of the victim who is a minor and said that the abortion can be carried out after collecting / securing evidences necessary for the prosecution to prove its case including DNA samples etc.
The father of the victim, who approached the Court by moving special writ application on 23rd December, had expressed a concern that, since it is a medico-legal case, the doctors on their own may not proceed further to terminate the pregnancy, although it is permissible under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971. The Court had then issued urgent notice and posted the matter for today.
When the matter was taken up today, the APP told the court that APP the girl can be taken to hospital for abortion. Recording his submission, the Court permitted to take the girl for abortion to Civil Hospital, Sola. The matter has been posted for tomorrow for producing progress report.
Relevant part of Section 3 of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 reads
A pregnancy may be terminated by a registered medical practitioner,- (a) where the length of the pregnancy does not exceed twelve weeks if such medical practitioner is, of opinion, formed in good faith, that,- (i) the continuance of the pregnancy would involve a risk to the life of the pregnant woman or of grave injury physical or mental health.
Explanation 1.-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.
Although Section 3 allows a registered medical practitioner to terminate pregnancy of a girl whose pregnancy is allegedly caused by rape, many medical practitioner desist from doing so, owing to the legal complexities that may arise in future.
Recently the Apex Court in an appeal preferred against Gujarat High Court order refusing to allow abortion, had allowed a 14 year old rape survivor to terminate her pregnancy if it is necessary to save her life. In that case, Gujarat HC had, in a detailed order, held that there is no other legal option but for her to go through with the pregnancy, which is over twenty-four weeks in length. But the Apex Court had allowed her appeal.
Read the order here.