The Kerala High Court on Friday allowed the medical termination of 21-week pregnancy of a minor rape victim. A bench of Justice P V Asha gave the direction on a plea filed by the mother of the 14-year-old girl.
“If the child is born alive, despite the attempts at medical termination of the pregnancy, the doctors shall ensure that everything, which is reasonably possible and feasible in the circumstances and in contemplation of the law prescribed for the purpose, is offered to such child so that he/ she develops into a healthy child,” the judge said.
The mother had approached the court pointing out that the girl is not mentally prepared to accept the pregnancy and that there is high risk of obstetric complications in the event of continuation of her pregnancy as she had been subjected to sexual assault.
When the matter came up before the court on December 9, the court ordered the government medical college, Kannur, to form a medical board, including a psychiatrist. The board was asked to look into various aspects of the issue, including considering the advanced stage of pregnancy, the risks involved, and the medical process best suited to terminate the pregnancy and the possibility of the child being born alive in the process.
The medical board in its report observed, “We may have to resort to surgical methods which involves anaesthesia and surgical risks. There is a possibility that the child may be born alive, however the chances of survival is remote.”
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