SC Agrees To Look Into Abortion Plea Of 10-Year-Old
The Supreme Court has decided to re-evaluate the case of a 10-year-old rape survivor who was refused abortion by a lower court. A bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud directed medical examination of the girl and her foetus at PGI, Chandigarh. The Secretary of Legal Services Authority of the Union Territory is to make all the arrangements to bring the child to the hospital and submit a report on July 28. The bench will then take a call on whether she will be allowed to have an abortion.
The child will be examined “so as to affirm one way or the other, whether the health of the girl child concerned, who is stated to be of the age of 10 years, and also that of the foetus, would be adversely affected, if the pregnancy is continued for the full term”, said the bench.
The abortion law doesn’t allow termination after 20 weeks unless doctors confirm that the mother’s life will be in danger.
The girl was raped many times over the past seven months by her uncle. She discovered she was pregnant after her parents took her to the hospital after she had complained about a stomach ache.
The girl’s father is a government employee, and her mother works as a domestic help. A psychiatrist who met the girl said that she does not understand she is pregnant, or the implications of being pregnant. Her advocate Alok Srivastava told the SC that doctors thought that the pelvic bones of the girl were not developed and full-term pregnancy was very risky.
Earlier this year, a district court in Haryana granted permission to a 10-year-old rape survivor to terminate her pregnancy. The head of the forensic medicine department at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Rohtak, Dr SK Dhattarwal said that the report suggested that it would be in the best interest of the girl to terminate the pregnancy, as otherwise, she would face psychological trauma.