The High Court of Kerala has allowed a petition seeking termination of termination of more than 20-week pregnancy of a rape victim.
Before the high court, the lady stated that by giving promise of marriage, she was successively subjected to sexual relationship by a person very close to her, by which she became pregnant. Her requests to terminate the pregnancy were rejected by hospitals stating that MTP cannot be conducted as the pregnancy period had exceeded 20 weeks.
Justice Shaji P Chaly observed that the lady was not mentally prepared to deliver a child and such situation can cause innumerable mental stress and change of attitude in the normal life of the petitioner. Holding that the circumstances in this case justified invoking Section 5 of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971, the court observed: “She did not expect such conduct and behaviour from the person with whom she maintained an intimate and affectionate relationship. The circumstances narrated will show, she is and was not mentally prepared to accept the state of affairs at which she is now.”
Having held that Section 5 of the Act can be invoked in the present case, the court observed: “If it is in the opinion of two medical practitioners, formed in good faith, that the MTP is necessary to save the life of the pregnant woman, the stipulations contained under sub-section (2) of Sec. 3 vanish.”
The high court has also referred to the Supreme Court judgment wherein it allowed a 14-year-old rape survivor to terminate her pregnancy. Read Live Law report here.
In a similar case, Gujarat High Court had ordered termination of 22-week pregnancy of a rape victim, holding the “best interests” of victim to be paramount. The Punjab and Haryana High Court had requested authorities of AIIMS, New Delhi, to reassess the possibility of termination of pregnancy of a rape victim whose gestation period of pregnancy has exceeded 24 weeks.
Read the Judgment here.