The Bombay High Court has granted permission to a 17-year-old rape survivor to terminate her 25-week pregnancy in an order ruling that the rape-resultant pregnancy “is causing a grave injury to the mental health of the petitioner”. The Bombay HC’s decision comes despite a report by the KEM Hospital board advising the girl against the abortion.

Justices K K Tated and Milind Jadhav gave the order on June 30 following a petition presented by the minor through her father, which stated that the pregnancy would potentially put her mental and physical health at risk. Section 5 of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act (MTP Act) allows a woman to undergo abortion only within the first 20 weeks of pregnancy, failing which she will have to seek the high court’s permission to do so.

Also Read: How Courts Uphold Women’s Right to Bodily Autonomy and Integrity

Advised Against Abortion

Last week, the survivor had been directed by the HC to stand before the medical board of King Edward Memorial Hospital, Mumbai for an examination and report. The hospital board urged her to go through with the pregnancy in a report that “advised against termination and said if the pregnancy is continued, a healthy baby could be delivered and the petitioner and her family could then decide if they want to care of the baby or put him/her up for adoption,” PTI reported.

The Bombay High Court has granted permission to a 17-year-old rape survivor to terminate her 25-week pregnancy.

The hospital board went on to suggest that with proper “psychological support and counselling,” the minor should be able to care for the baby.

Also Read: Pregnant Activist Safoora Zargar Granted Bail On Humanitarian Grounds

Bombay HC Permits Abortion

However, the Bombay HC ruled against the board’s report, citing the well-being of the survivor’s mental and physical health, with respect to her official plea.

Last month, on May 31, the Bombay HC in a similar ruling had allowed a 13-year old minor, who had allegedly been raped by her father, to terminate her 23-week pregnancy.

The court’s directive also mentioned that “In case the child is born alive during the termination procedure and if the petitioner and her parents are not willing or are not in a position to take responsibility of the baby, then the state government and the agencies concerned will have to assume full responsibility of the child.”

Last month, on May 31, the Bombay HC in a similar ruling had allowed a 13-year old minor, who had allegedly been raped by her father, to terminate her 23-week pregnancy.

Tanvi Akhauri is an intern with SheThePeople.TV. 

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