Setting a precedent, the Karnataka High Court recently allowed a 16-year-old rape survivor from Davangere to terminate her pregnancy. The court also ordered that the DNA of the foetus be preserved to aid the investigation against the accused at the Women police station in Davangere.
Justice Raghvendra S Chauhan passed the order on Wednesday, allowing for the abortion of the 22-week-old foetus. The court conceded that "the child has been conceived in a rape case, and the petitioner does not wish to continue with her pregnancy as it will create individual and social problems for her and for her family.”
The court's order gave precedence to the survivor and her family's wishes, even though a medical board appointed in March 2018 had said that there were no medical contradictions for the 16-year-old to terminate the pregnancy, after correction of anaemia.
Justice Raghavendra also directed the state government to bear all expenses for the girl, including the procedure, medicine and food. It also directed the Vani Vilas Hospital to admit her immediately and discharge her only after complete recovery.
The court asked for the foetus to be preserved for DNA testing, which would be done at the Central Laboratory in Hyderabad. The report of the tests would have to be submitted within two months, the court said.
Previously, the Supreme Court had also allowed rape survivor to abort her 26-week-old foetus in September 2017. In December last year, the Bombay High Court allowed for an intellectually disabled woman and a rape survivor to terminate her pregnancy of 26 weeks.