The Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed a 13-year-old child, in her 31st week of pregnancy, to abort her foetus. The young girl is a rape survivor from Mumbai. Earlier this week, a JJ Hospital medical panel submitted its report suggesting that the child should undergo an abortion.
Welcoming the court order, gynaecologist Dr Nikhil Datar, who was in favour of the minor’s abortion, said: “This is fantastic news. The Supreme Court has identified the issues with MTP Act. They should now also take pro active steps to amend the Act and extend cap for abortion.” Section 3(2)(b) of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act prohibits abortion of a foetus after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
The petitioner’s counsel in the case, Advocate Sneha Mukherjee, said the abortion could well take place the day after tomorrow. “The court has asked us to admit the girl tomorrow and carry out the abortion the day after (Friday).” Mukherjee says the apex court in its observations said that the mental trauma of a child carrying the pregnancy forward was too much and that she must terminate the foetus as per her wish. JJ Hospital is yet to receive an official court order.
The parents of the 13-year-old girl, who was allegedly raped by her father’s business partner about six months ago, filed the petition in the Supreme Court seeking permission for medical termination of pregnancy. This, after they realised she was pregnant just four weeks ago. The girl is now in her 31st week of pregnancy.
In August, her parents took her to a doctor to check whether her sudden ‘obesity’ was caused by thyroid. A sonography then showed that she was 27 weeks pregnant. Police officials claim that until that moment, she had not informed her parents about the sexual assault.
“Precious time was wasted because first she was admitted to a shelter home and the mother had no time to file medical documents. Later, holidays delayed the process further,” Datar said.
The 13-year-old’s family resides in Charkop, Mumbai. Her father is a street vendor while mother is a homemaker. The child is staying with her parents. On August 13, she was released from Asha Dan shelter home in Byculla.
The 23-year-old accused lived with the victim’s family in Charkop and is suspected to have raped the girl on multiple occasions. He is presently in custody of the Mumbai Police.