This Article is From Jul 29, 2015

Gujarat Teen, Rape Survivor, Can Abort, Says Supreme Court

New Delhi: A 14-year-old girl from Gujarat who became pregnant after being raped, can have her pregnancy terminated if it is necessary to save her life, the Supreme Court has said, overruling the decision of two courts in Gujarat.

The top court said the girl has to be examined by a panel of doctors in Ahmedabad on July 30. The panel will comprise four senior gynaecologists, one whom had advised abortion a week ago.

After examining the girl, doctor Riddhi Shukla had said having the child will pose a great risk for her, given her current mental and physical condition.

"When I examined her and talked to her, I found her mentally and psychologically devastated and completely broken down. She is also physically and medically too weak to deliver a child. Pregnancy at this age and situation can lead to serious threat to her life," read the doctor's report, dated July 25.

The girl had become pregnant in February after she was raped allegedly by a doctor to whom she had gone for treatment of typhoid. Her family's application for termination of the pregnancy was turned down by a lower court as well as the Gujarat High Court.

On July 24, the High Court had refused permission for termination of pregnancy, saying the baby was innocent and "did not ask to be born". The court had also cited the law that does not allow termination of pregnancy after 20 weeks. In this case, the pregnancy was in the 24th week.

The judge, Abhilasha Kumari, had said it was a "difficult decision" but added, "Whatever be the circumstances in which the child was conceived, whatever the trauma of the young mother, the fact remains that the child is also not to blame for being conceived."

The same court had denied an abortion to a 24-year-old gang rape victim in April. The woman was more than six months' pregnant. She later refused to keep the baby, and gave the newborn's custody to the state government.