Supreme Court Allows 14-year-old Rape Survivor To Terminate 29-week Pregnancy

The Supreme Court’s order follows the recommendation of a medical team.

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Rape Survivor, Pregnancy, Supreme Court, New Delhi, mental health, Chief Justice of India, CJI, DY Chandrachud, JB Pardiwala, medical team, pregnancy, Bombay High Court, Sion Hospital, Maharashtra, Medical Termination of Pregnancy, MTP Act
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Supreme Court: In a landmark judgment related to a case of a minor rape survivor, the Supreme Court on Monday allowed the medical termination of the pregnancy of the 14-year-old victim. The SC noted that continuing the pregnancy may harm the physical and mental health of the minor girl.

The Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justice JB Pardiwala allowed the girl to undergo the abortion as it held that the urgency of the situation and the welfare of the minor necessitated the medical termination of pregnancy.

The girl is over 29 weeks pregnant.

“We will allow the medical termination since she is 14 years old and it is a rape case, and this is an exceptional case. Every passing hour is very crucial for her,” the bench said.

The order of the top court follows the recommendation of a medical team, which said the continuation of the pregnancy would affect the physical and mental well-being of the minor.

The apex court took note of the report of doctors who had recommended that a “certain degree of risk” was attached to the medical termination of the pregnancy, but the threat to her life was not higher than delivery at full term.

The SC bench also set aside the Bombay High Court order declining the plea seeking medical termination of her pregnancy.

On Friday, the bench ordered a medical examination of the victim to be held at Sion Hospital, Maharashtra, on Saturday and posted the matter for hearing on April 22.

The apex court had ordered that the medical examination look into the possible mental and physical impacts on the minor in the event of allowing such a termination.

The victim’s mother approached the top court, challenging the Bombay High Court order of April 4, 2024, which declined to grant the relief of termination.

The apex court on Friday noted that the medical report relied upon by the High Court failed to evaluate the physical and mental status of the minor victim, specifically in light of the context of the alleged sexual assault.

Under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, the upper limit for termination of pregnancy is 24 weeks for married women as well as for those in special categories, including rape survivors, and other vulnerable women, such as the differently abled and minors.

(With ANI inputs)

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