The woman approached the HC after hospitals refused to do an abortion.

Kerala HC allows termination of unwanted pregnancy by rape survivor
news Law Wednesday, November 16, 2016 - 09:48

In a landmark ruling, the Kerala High court has held that a rape survivor is free to end her unwanted pregnancy, as it could pose a threat to her life.

The HC was deciding on a petition filed by a woman from Kasaragod district who was cheated by a person who impregnated her on the pretext of marriage. She had filed a complaint after the person married another woman.

The woman approached the HC after Kasaragod government hospital and Kozhikode medical college hospital refused to do an abortion.

The HC ruling is significant, as it comes at a time when a bill that recommends allowing medical termination of pregnancy (MTP) in rape cases if the pregnancy is less than 6 months old, is under consideration of the Parliament.

In July, the Supreme Court had allowed a rape victim from Mumbai to abort her 24-week-old abnormal foetus, finding that continuance of the pregnancy would cause grave danger to the pregnant woman.

As per Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971, a medical practitioner is allowed to terminate pregnancy of not more than 12 weeks, if the continuance of pregnancy would be a danger to the physical, mental health of the pregnant woman. If there is a likelihood of the child being born with disabilities, even then the pregnancy can be terminated.

“... the petitioner is not mentally prepared to deliver a child and such situation can cause immense mental stress and change of attitude in the normal life of the petitioner. Moreover, the circumstances explained show that the petitioner did not expect such conduct and behaviour from the person with whom she maintained an intimate and affectionate relationship,” the judgment said, The Times of India reports.

The court also ordered Kozhikode Medical College superintendent to take necessary steps for MTP.

 

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