Punjab & Haryana HC Refuses Abortion For 14 YO Rape Survivor; Directs State To Bear All Medical Expenses [Read Order]
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:
- The Director, PGIMS Rohtak shall provide private room to the daughter of the petitioner so that she could be well attended by her family member(s).
- Daughter of the petitioner would be provided requisite medicines, food, clothing and other facilities as are required well in advance and shall be attended by the Head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology who will personally monitor such requirements at the time of delivery of the girl.
- The Medical Superintendent of the PGIMS shall be obligated to ensure meticulous compliance of every advice, recommendation, suggestion or order in this regard made to him/her by the Professor and Head of the Department to Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department.
- The Professor and Head of the Department to Obstetrics and Gynaecology of PGIMS would further supervise the periodical needs of the girl like psychiatric consultation or related assistance from other departments of PGIMS which shall also be provided timely.
Read the Order Here