Doctors have successfully terminated the pregnancy of a 14-year-old rape victim. This is a first in India's medico-legal history given that in India the termination of pregnancy above 20 weeks is not allowed.
The survivor, a class X student, was in the 25th month of her pregnancy.
A team of five doctors started the medical procedure on 31 July after the Supreme Court intervened in the girl's favour. The procedure took about 24 hours.
Earlier the Gujarat High Court and a lower court had denied her the right to abort the foetus.
The father of the girl then filed a plea with the Supreme Court. The SC court ruled on 28 July that the girl had to be examined by a panel of doctors in Ahmedabad on 30 July 30. The panel comprised four senior gynaecologists.
After examining the girl, Dr Riddhi Shukla said having the child would pose a great risk for the girl given her current mental and physical condition. Shukla said that she found the girl mentally and psychologically devastated. She said the girl was physically and medically too weak to deliver a child.
What was the case?
The minor had become pregnant in February after she was allegedly raped by a doctor to whom she had gone for treatment of typhoid. Her family's application for termination of the pregnancy was turned down by a lower court as well as the Gujarat High Court.
On 24 July, the High Court had refused permission for termination of pregnancy, saying the baby was innocent and "did not ask to be born". The court also cited the law that does not allow termination of pregnancy after 20 weeks. In this case, the pregnancy was in the 24th week.
Justice Abhilasha Kumari had said it was a "difficult decision" but added, "Whatever be the circumstances in which the child was conceived, whatever the trauma of the young mother, the fact remains that the child is also not to blame for being conceived."
The same court had denied an abortion to a 24-year-old gang rape victim in April. The woman was more than six months pregnant. She later refused to keep the baby, and gave custody of the new born to the state government.