Karnataka HC rejects 17-year-old rape survivor's plea for abortion

The girl is 20 weeks pregnant.
Karnataka HC rejects 17-year-old rape survivor's plea for abortion
Karnataka HC rejects 17-year-old rape survivor's plea for abortion
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The Karnataka High Court on Thursday, denied permission to a 17-year-old rape survivor, to terminate her pregnancy. 

The girl, who was sexually assaulted, is now 20 weeks pregnant and had sought the permission of the HC to terminate the pregnancy, citing that having to deliver the baby would affect her mental and physical health.

According to reports, the girl had urged the court to direct the health and family welfare department and Vani Vilas Hospital to undertake the pregnancy termination procedure.

Apart from termination of the pregnancy, she had also sought for a direction to authorities to preserve the foetus for DNA testing, that will help the police in the investigation into the rape case.

Observing that the continuation of the pregnancy posed no risk, Justice Bopanna disposed off the girl's petition. According to reports, the girl had approached the court after her request for pregnancy termination was rejected by a hospital. 

A medical report submitted by doctors at the Vani Vilas Hospital states that the petitioner "carries risk and complications inherent to the second trimester", if the pregnancy was to be terminated. However, doctors at Ramaiah Hospital who examined the girl, had submitted a report stating that there were no risks in terminating the pregnancy.

The Times of India quotes a portion of the order:

"Though the report submitted by the Collaborative Child Response Unit, M S Ramaiah Hospital, has said there is no harm in continuing the pregnancy , there is an observation that the petitioner has expressed unwillingness to do so as she wants to complete her studies."

The accused in the case reportedly sexually abused the girl, promising to marry her. The police registered a case against him under section 4 of POCSO and Section 376 of IPC.

The SC had recently observed that minor victims of sexual crimes should not be forced to knock on the doors of court to terminate their pregnancy. The apex court made the observation while considering the case of a 10-year-old girl from Chandigargh, who delivered a baby after the court refused to grant her permission to terminate the pregnancy. The apex court had denied permission citing that the girl was already 32 weeks pregnant and that a medical termination of pregnancy will be fatal to the mother or the child. 

In the last week of August, the parents of a 13-year-old from Mumbai had approached the SC, seeking termination of pregnancy. Although the girl was 30 weeks pregnant, it was only three weeks earlier that her parents realised she was pregnant, say reports. The girl was allegedly raped by a business partner of her father during multiple occasions.

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