18:12 GMT15 August 2020
Listen Live
    World
    Get short URL
    0 11
    Subscribe

    New Delhi (Sputnik): India’s pregnancy termination laws prohibit aborting a foetus over 20 weeks unless there is a risk to the life of the pregnant mother. However, the federal government approved legislation to raise the limit to 24 weeks in exceptional cases like rape, but it is still pending parliamentary approval.

    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.

    Related:

    Minor Rape Victim Forced Into Motherhood After Delayed Verdict on Plea to Terminate Pregnancy
    India’s Supreme Court Allows 13-year-old Rape Survivor Late-Term Abortion
    India Set to Raise Abortion Limits to 24 Weeks of Pregnancy
    Tags:
    termination, abortion, Court, teenage girl, teenager, Minors, rape, pregnancy, India
    Community standardsDiscussion