HC allows termination of minor rape victim's pregnancy

The Karnataka High Court on Thursday allowed the termination of 22-weeks pregnancy of a 16-year-old rape victim.

Considering the sensitivity of the case, Justice Raghvendra S Chauhan held the proceedings in his chamber, rather than an open court.

The victim said that she would not like to continue with her pregnancy.

The counsel for the petitioner submitted that in a similar case, the high court had rejected the appeal but the Supreme Court in September 2017, had allowed it and had directed that pregnancy due to rape should be terminated.

The counsel also pointed out that in the said case, the pregnancy was in the 26th week with gestation and mild anaemia, whereas in the present case, the pregnancy is only in the 22nd week with gestation and mild anaemia."

Justice Chauhan observed: "Considering the fact that the child has been conceived in a rape case and she does not wish to continue with her pregnancy as it will create individual and social problems for her and for her family, this court is of the opinion that appropriate directions should be issued for the termination of her pregnancy."

The judge directed the medical superintendent of Vani Vilas Hospital to admit her on Thursday and discharge her only after she recovers well enough to go back to her hometown.

Justice Chauhan further observed in the order that the medical superintendent shall ensure that the hospital preserves the terminated foetus as it may be necessary for the purpose of DNA testing.

The Investigation Officer (IO) shall collect the samples for its DNA testing by the Central Laboratory, Hyderabad. He also directed the laboratory to submit its report to the IO within two months from the date of receipt of the samples.

Justice Chauhan also stated that the state government shall bear all the medical expenses - operation, medicines, food, etc., - of the patient.

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