HC denies abortion to a minor rape victim on legal grounds

HC denies abortion to a minor rape victim on legal grounds

The Gujarat High Court refused permission to medically terminate the pregnancy of a minor victim of rape, on legal grounds, since she was already 21 weeks pregnant.

Justice A J Desai on Thursday expressed his opinion that since the petitioner, a 16-years-old girl, is at present 21 weeks pregnant her petition was not admissible under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 following which her lawyer withdrew the petition.

As per her petition, filed by her father, it was found that she got pregnant in May this year after she was raped by a 21-year old married man, who has been arrested.

Later, when the parents took her to Shardaben Municipal General Hospital, she was found to be pregnant with an 18-week foetus.

On her behalf, her parents requested for an abortion, but doctors at the hospital refused and asked them to get the court's permission.

After a petition, the High Court ordered a medical examination and an expert's opinion on whether her pregnancy could be terminated without any risks to her life.

"At present her pregnancy has reached 21 weeks and as per provisions of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971, her prayer cannot be granted," the court said during the final hearing on the petition on Thursday.

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