Chhattisgarh HC Allows Minor Rape Victim to Terminate Pregnancy

Raipur: The Chhattisgarh High Court permitted a 15-year-oldrape victim to terminate her less than 20week pregnancy informed an official.

A single bench of Justice Goutam Bhaduri on Tuesday passed the order directing that the victim is entitled to medical termination of pregnancy, the petitioner’s lawyer Anis Tiwari said. 

The order issued by Justice Bhaduri stated that since the victim was subjected to rape, forcing her to give birth to a child would have a huge impact on her life, besides the fact that the child would also have to face disdain of the society.

The court has further instructed the state government to establish a panel of expert doctors at the district hospital in Korba as early as possible and authorizethem to take care of the victim’s health and provide her all the medical support. 

The court also directed that the DNA of the fetusshould be preserved considering the fact that the victim has lodged a complaint of rape, and the information may be required at a future date, Tiwari said, adding that the girl was directed to appear at the district hospital in Korba on July 14. 

Under the Indian Penal Code, 1860, voluntarily terminating a pregnancy is a criminal offence. The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 allows for aborting the pregnancy by medical doctors (with specified specialization) on certain grounds. A pregnancy maybe be terminated up to 12 weeks based on the opinion of one doctor, and up to 20 weeks based on the opinion of two doctors. Termination is permitted only when continuance of the pregnancy would involve a risk to the life of the pregnant woman, cause grave injury to her mental or physical health (including rape and failure of birth control measures), or in the case of fetal abnormalities.

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