A court in the Indian state of Kerala has passed an order to allow the termination of the 24-week pregnancy of a 14-year-old rape survivor, terming it a "difficult and disheartening situation".
“… we are of the view that the ‘Y’s' (victim) right to make reproductive choices is also a facet of her personal liberty as understood under Article 21 of our Constitution. The said choice would extend to deciding whether or not to carry her pregnancy to its full term", said the High Court of the state, while hearing a plea through video conference.
Kerala High Court passed the order after considering the medical implications of the abortion by consulting a medical board and experts.
The report by the medical professional stated that the pregnancy and birth of the baby pose substantial risks to the mental and physical health of the victim due to her young age; also a baby born under such circumstances has the possibility of developing physical and mental abnormalities.
The 14-year-old was impregnated after she reportedly eloped with a married man and lived with him for five months. The man was arrested under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO). But by the time the family got custody of the minor, the pregnancy had advanced beyond 20 weeks.
Under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971, a court’s permission is required for the termination of a pregnancy if the period of gestation exceeds 20 weeks.