Punjab and Haryana HC Cite Central Law and Allow Abortion for Rape Victims | Chandigarh News

CHANDIGARH: In perhaps the first instance after the recent approval of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Act 2020 providing for termination of pregnancy for up to 24 weeks, the high court of the Punjab and the Haryana asked PGIMS Rohtak to terminate the pregnancy of a rape survivor who was more than 20 weeks pregnant.
“There is no doubt that the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act 1971 provides that medical termination of pregnancy after a period of 20 weeks is not permitted. However, the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Act 2020 was passed on March 25, 2021, under which the upper limit for medical termination of pregnancy was extended to 24 weeks from the current stipulation. 20 weeks, for certain categories of women, including rape victims. The applicant in the present case falls within the scope of the new provision ”, observed judge Arun Kshetarpal of the HC while authorizing the termination of pregnancy of the rape victim of Rohtak.
Judge Kshetarpal also held that the court is required to take into consideration the particular facts of each case. “The petitioner, in this case, claims to have become pregnant as a result of rape. She is still a minor since she was born on December 15, 2003. She has her whole life ahead of her, ”observed the judge.
Court asks medical board to take fetus sample
The HC also ordered the medical board to take a sample of the fetus for DNA analysis and hand it over to the prosecution / police.
In this case, the minor had approached the HC to request the termination of her pregnancy through her mother for having survived a rape. An FIR related to the incident against the accused for rape and under the POCSO law has already been registered.
Hearing his plea, the HC, on March 23, ordered PGIMS Rohtak’s medical board to medically examine the complainant and provide a report. The medical board reported that although the fetus has no birth defects, the survivor is anemic.
Since this request was filed through her mother (natural guardian), the HC therefore also requested the independent opinion of the minor girl. For this, the president of the family court, Rohtak, was invited to interact with the minor applicant. The survivor, however, told the family court judge that she was ready to have the fetus aborted.
After considering all the reports, the opinion of the medical commission and the new law passed by parliament, the HC asked the medical commission, PGIMS, Rohtak, to consider whether there is a risk to the life of the petitioner in performing the termination of pregnancy. “If the board concludes that there is no risk to the applicant’s life, then the medical superintendent, PGIMS, Rohtak, will make immediate arrangements for the medical termination of the minor applicant’s pregnancy,” said ordered the high court. .
(The victim’s identity has not been disclosed to protect her privacy in accordance with the Supreme Court’s guidelines on sexual assault cases)

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