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SC allows 14-year-old pregnant rape survivor to undergo abortion | Latest news India

The Supreme Court on Monday allowed a 14-year-old rape survivor to undergo an abortion after more than 29 weeks of pregnancy, underlining that continuing the pregnancy could harm the girl’s physical and mental health. “These are very, very exceptional cases where we have to protect the children… every passing hour is of crucial importance to her,” said a bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud, who directed safe abortion of the minor.

The Supreme Court. (HT PHOTO)

During a late Friday evening hearing outside the court’s regular opening hours, the bench, also comprising Justice JB Pardiwala, directed Mumbai’s Sion Hospital to immediately determine whether continuing the pregnancy would harm the girl’s physical or mental health or could endanger the fetus and to report accordingly. no later than Monday (April 22).

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The girl’s mother rushed to the Supreme Court after the Bombay High Court dismissed the request for medical termination of pregnancy on April 4.

Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati, representing the Centre, on Monday urged the court to invoke its extraordinary powers under Article 142 to do full justice in the case, citing the medical report which noted that continuing the pregnancy could have consequences for the minor’s well-being.

The court accepted her plea and exercised its power under Article 142 to order immediate termination of the minor’s pregnancy, stating her age and the alleged sexual assault. “Taking into account the urgency of the situation and the welfare of the minor, we have set aside the order of the Bombay High Court,” said the bench, which headed a panel of doctors from the Lokmanya Tilak Municipal Medical College and the General Hospital, Mumbai. to perform termination of pregnancy.

The counsel appearing on behalf of the Maharashtra government promised to bear the medical expenses of the medical procedure.

For its April 4 ruling, the Supreme Court relied on a study by a medical board of doctors at JJ Hospital in Mumbai. But the petition said the girl had not been adequately investigated and urged the Supreme Court’s involvement.

The court noted on Friday that the medical reports do not contain a detailed assessment of the girl’s physical and mental condition, and stressed the need for such consideration given the traumatic circumstances of her pregnancy.

The court instructed that day that a medical board of doctors at Sion Hospital would on Saturday (April 20) evaluate the consequences of a continued pregnancy on the minor’s health, taking into account the sexual assault she suffered.

Under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act (MTP), abortions are generally prohibited after 24 weeks unless the pregnancy poses a serious threat to the woman’s life or involves significant fetal abnormalities.

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