Telangana HC Permits 12-YO Rape Survivor to Abort Pregnancy

Rape Survivor

The Telangana High Court has permitted a 12-year-old rape survivor to terminate a 26-week pregnancy and has directed the Superintendent of state-run Gandhi Hospital to carry out the abortion.

A single bench of Justice B Vijaysen Reddy also mandated that the termination of pregnancy or surgical procedure, as applicable, must be performed by the most senior gynecologist at the hospital. Additionally, tissue and blood samples of the fetus should be collected for conducting DNA and other tests.

“If the victim girl or her mother gives consent for termination of pregnancy through medical procedure respondent No.4 – the Superintendent, Gandhi Hospital, Hyderabad, shall forthwith admit the victim girl, conduct medical examination and by taking all necessary precautions, terminate pregnancy of victim girl medically or through surgical procedure as may be required, within 48 hours,” the order reads.

Earlier, doctors at Gandhi Hospital informed the victim’s mother (petitioner) that since the girl was beyond 24 weeks of pregnancy, it could not be terminated under the provisions of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Act 2021, prompting her to approach the court.

The court also directed the Hospital to form a medical board to examine the victim regarding the gestation period of her fetus, the feasibility of terminating the pregnancy, and to submit a report to the court in a sealed cover without disclosing the girl’s identity.

Appearing for the petitioner, advocate Vasudha Nagaraj argued that the victim had been sexually abused and raped by several individuals, and continuing with the pregnancy would cause her significant mental anguish.

She also argued that not only would the victim suffer, but the child born would face both physical and mental trauma. Additionally, there is no guarantee that the mother and fetus will remain in good health if the pregnancy is continued and the baby is eventually delivered.

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About the Author: Nunnem Gangte