Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Gujarat HC allows Rape Victim to Terminate Pregnancy

AHMEDABAD: Gujarat High Court has allowed an 18-year-old Dalit rape victim to undergo abortion.
The order was passed by Justice Anant S Dave yesterday after the girl from Deodar taluka in Banaskantha approached the high court last month seeking permission for premature termination of the pregnancy.
"Keeping in mind the best interests of the girl and her parents, and likely consequences and innumerable mental, physical, social and economical problems in future if pregnancy is not allowed to be terminated and resulted into birth of a child, this court has come to the conclusion that the case falls within the parameters of Sections 3 and 4 of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act," Justice Dave said in the order.
"There is no bar for termination of pregnancy in case of a rape victim," he further said.
The victim is 16 weeks pregnant. The court also issued a direction to the civil surgeon of the government hospital, Ahmedabad, to conduct abortion, with the help of a panel of expert doctors.
The court further said that if the panel of doctors is of the opinion that termination of pregnancy would affect the life and safety of the victim, it may reconsider the decision.
Under the MTP Act, an advanced stage pregnancy can not be terminated, unless doctors believe that woman's physical or mental health is in danger. A pregnancy caused by rape is covered by this exception.
The high court also ordered that after the abortion, the foetus be preserved for DNA testing as it could be a useful evidence for the investigation of the rape case.

According to the victim, she was abducted by one Amratji Agraji Thakore from her village on September 28, 2010.

In her complaint to the police, she also said that she was kept in the captivity by the accused for over two months and was repeatedly raped before the rescue in December 2010.

The medical examination in December revealed that she was pregnant.

Then she approached the Court seeking permission for abortion. The accused is absconding.

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