The Delhi High Court has ordered to shift a 14-year-old pregnant girl to a children’s home for necessary care and protection after she opted against medical termination of pregnancy (MTP).
According to the order dated June 1, the girl had approached the High Court seeking a direction to Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital to constitute a medical board to evaluate the possibility of MTP. The board found her to be around 27 weeks pregnant and counselled her about the implications of an MTP at this stage, including a possible hysterectomy.
Following this, the girl said she wanted to carry the pregnancy to full term and give up the baby thereafter for adoption. The girl’s guardian, her 22-year-old brother, took the same stand, the order read.
She was stated to have become pregnant after physical relations with a man who is facing criminal proceedings under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.
Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani noted the suggestion of the Child Welfare Committee to place the girl in the Home for Pregnant and Lactating Mothers in the Children’s Home for Girls-IV, Nirmal Chayya here, to ensure proper antenatal care to the child and proper assistance for a safe delivery subsequently.
He ordered that she be shifted to the facility, in accordance with the mandate of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2015.
“The clear position of law in relation to medical termination of pregnancy is that it only requires the consent of the ‘woman’.
“In the present case, since the ‘woman’ is in fact a child of about 14 years of age, the law requires that consent be taken from the ‘guardian’ of the woman within the meaning of section 2(a) of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971,” the High Court said.