The Punjab and Haryana High Court recently refused permission to terminate the pregnancy of a 14-year-old rape survivor but directed the Haryana government to bear all the expenses for her delivery.
Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain ordered, “The Chief Secretary of the State of Haryana, Principal Secretary, Deportment of Health and all other concerned departments of State of Haryana are directed to ensure the reimbursement of bills or expenditure incurred by the petitioner on the delivery of his daughter immediately on the submission of the bills.”
The Medical College authorities were also directed to ensure adequate privacy to the girl during her stay as an indoor patient, and to make sure that her identity is not revealed to the public or the media.
The Court was hearing a petition filed by the girl’s father, who had submitted that she had been raped by her uncle, but was refused abortion by the doctors as she was 28 weeks pregnant by the time the fact of her pregnancy was discovered. This was in compliance with the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971, which stipulates that if the pregnancy crosses the 20 weeks threshold, it cannot be terminated without the order of the Court.
The father had, therefore, petitioned the court for a direction to the Director, PGIMS Rohtak and the then Chief Medical Officer, Civil Hospital, Bhiwani to terminate his daughter’s pregnancy.
Taking note of the submissions, the Court had then, on 24 August, directed the Director, PGIMS, Rohtak to examine her and determine whether it would be conducive to terminate the pregnancy. As per the report now submitted to the Court, the doctors had opined that there could be grave risk to the girl’s life if her pregnancy was terminated now.
Accepting the report, the Court then ordered the Director, PGIMS Rohtak to admit the minor girl and issued the following directions for ensuring her well-being:
Read the Order Here