HC allows HIV-positive girl to abort

It ordered that a medical board be constituted to terminate her pregnancy.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: December 7, 2013 1:06 am

The Delhi High Court on Friday allowed an HIV positive 19-year-old girl,rescued from a brothel,to terminate her pregnancy,even though it was beyond the permissible period prescribed by the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act.

The girl,who is over 19 weeks pregnant,had approached the court earlier this week after the authorities at the women’s shelter home refused to accede to her request,citing the MTP Act,which prohibits abortion of a foetus aged between 12-20 weeks.

In the plea,filed through legal aid counsel Nandita Rao,the girl had asked the staff at the Nari Niketan for an abortion,as the pregnancy was the result of “repeated rape at the brothel”.

Justice Sunita Gupta allowed the girl’s petition,accepting her submissions that she was from the poor strata of society and it was a forced pregnancy amounting to rape as she was in the brothel. The court directed the authorities at Nari Niketan to get the girl admitted to a government hospital within three days. It ordered that a medical board be constituted to terminate her pregnancy. The court directed the government to provide proper diet and shelter to the girl.

Under the MTP Act,a foetus may be terminated up to 20 weeks of pregnancy if a medical board of two doctors opines that the pregnancy posed a risk to the physical and mental health of the mother.

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