In a significant ruling, the Supreme Court has allowed a 14-year-old rape-survivor from Gujarat to terminate her pregnancy to save her life. With the judgement, the apex court has overruled the decisions of two courts from Gujarat.
The father of a girl who is Class X student, had filed a plea with the Supreme Court requesting for the termination of her pregnancy. The girl is in the 24th week of her pregnancy.
SC court said the girl has to be examined by a panel of doctors in Ahmedabad on July 30. The panel will comprise four senior gynaecologists, one whom had advised abortion a week ago.
After examining the girl, doctor Riddhi Shukla had said having the child will pose a great risk for her given her current mental and physical condition. Shukla said that she found the girl mentally and psychologically devastated. She mentioned that 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 July 24, the High Court had refused permission for termination of pregnancy, saying the baby was innocent and "did not ask to be born". The court had 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 the newborn's custody to the state government.