Bombay HC rejects petition by 15-year-old rape survivor to abort 28-week pregnancy

A medical board after examining the girl said even if the termination of pregnancy takes place at this stage, the baby would be born alive and would have to be admitted in a neonatal care unit

June 26, 2023 06:02 pm | Updated 06:02 pm IST - Mumbai

File.

File. | Photo Credit: Reuters

The Aurangabad Bench of the Bombay High Court recently rejected the petition of a 15-year-old rape survivor to abort her 28-week pregnancy, saying that the medical board opined the baby would be born alive and the life of the girl would also at risk.

A Division Bench of Justices R.V. Ghuge and Y.G. Khobragade was hearing a petition filed by the rape victim’s mother, seeking permission to abort her daughter’s 28-week foetus.

A medical board after examining the girl said even if the termination of pregnancy takes place at this stage, the baby would be born alive and would have to be admitted in a neonatal care unit, and the girl will also be at risk.

The order was passed on June 20 but is made available on Monday. The court said, “If in any case the child is going to be born and the natural delivery is just 12 weeks away, we are of the view that the health of the child and its physical and mental development need to be considered. If later the petitioner desires to give away the child to an orphanage, she shall have the liberty to do so.”

“The disadvantage of permitting forcible delivery of the child today is that the child who would have naturally developed into a well-grown baby will have to be brought into this world at a premature stage and that too forcibly. If the baby is well developed and delivered naturally as a full-term baby, there would be no deformity and the chances of adoption would brighten,” the court said.

The minor’s mother urged the court to permit the girl to be kept in some NGO or at hospital till she delivers the child. The court said the minor could be kept either at a shelter home in Nashik which cares for pregnant women or at the government’s shelter home for women in Aurangabad.

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