Minor rape victim approaches Bombay High Court to end 26-week pregnancy

Recently, across India, a number of cases have surfaced where people are approaching the judicial authorities to terminate the over 20-week pregnancy of the women. In India, the Section 3 of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, 1971, does not allow abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Doctors feel that there is a need to make amendments in the MTP Act

Minor rape victim approaches Bombay HC to end 26-week pregnancy

A father of a 16-year-old rape victim has approached the Bombay High Court seeking permission to terminate victim’s 26-week pregnancy. The high court, on October 10, had directed the KEM Hospital to form a medical board of expert doctors and examine the present health condition of the victim. The court had asked the board to submit the report by Friday (October 13).

The victim’s father has sought the permission to terminate her pregnancy on the grounds of her physical incapability to bear and deliver a child. The victim is mentioned to be suffering from anaemia.

“We have submitted the report in the high court on October 12. The rape victim is almost 27 weeks pregnant,” informed Dr Avinash Supe, Dean, KEM Hospital. The report would be presented to the court on Friday.

In India, the Section 3 of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, 1971, does not allow abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Court permission is required to terminate the pregnancy after 20 weeks.

Talking about the complications which may occur in the pregnancy termination process in the week 26, Dr Vanita Raut, President of Mumbai Obstetrics and Gynaecological Society, said, “If the procedure is performed with proper precautions, then there should not be any problem. Provided that the procedure should happen in a well-equipped tertiary care centre. MTP doesn’t allow pregnancy termination after 20 weeks. According to me, termination of pregnancy shouldn’t be allowed after 24 weeks.”

Only a month ago, on Sept 8, the 31-week pregnancy of a 13-year-old rape survivor was terminated in JJ hospital in Mumbai after the SC order. “To avoid the delay in the process, there should amendment in the MTP Act. Committees should be appointed at district and state level to take an immediate decision on it. A medical board consisting of a gynaecologist, a psychiatrist and other experts should take a decision,” said Dr Ashok Anand, Professor and Head of Gynaecology Department, Sir JJ Group of Hospitals.