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High court declines plea for abortion

HC denies 11-year-old’s abortion plea, Dr shares complications

The Rajasthan high court, in a decision released on Friday based on an order from Wednesday, dismissed the request of an 11-year-old rape survivor to terminate her 31-week pregnancy. Justice Anoop Kumar Dhand stated that, as per the medical board’s assessment, the foetus is increasing in weight, and its essential organs are fully formed.

On Friday, a copy of an order issued on Wednesday revealed that Justice Anoop Kumar Dhand stated that, based on the medical board’s assessment, the foetus is increasing in weight, and its essential organs are fully formed. Justice Dhand emphasised that, given the proximity to natural childbirth, the termination of the pregnancy cannot be granted. Additionally, he noted that the Punjab and Haryana High Court had rejected abortion requests in two analogous cases.

Dr. Sandeepan Giri, a Health Expertise of Kolkata said ‘True to Life’ on this case, “Commenting on her mental status is very tough.But during labour she might undergo Post Partum Haemorrhage , obstructed labour, blood loss, anaemia , sepsis, septic shock. More can be commented on if one knows her obstetrical history.”

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The court highlighted that the medical board expressed concerns that Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) would be unsafe and potentially life-threatening for the petitioner. The minor had filed a petition, expressing her desire to terminate the pregnancy due to it being the result of rape, causing ongoing distress and serving as a constant reminder of the atrocities inflicted upon her. She argued that giving birth to the child would adversely affect her mental and physical well-being.

Indian law allows a rape victim to decide whether to keep the child or opt for an abortion. The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, 1971, permits the termination of a pregnancy if it poses a risk to the mother’s life or physical or mental health. In the case of rape or incest, the law acknowledges the impact on the victim’s mental health, providing legal grounds for abortion. However, it’s crucial to consult with legal and medical professionals for guidance based on the specific circumstances.

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The court has additionally instructed that the girl be admitted to the government’s ‘Bailka Grah’ and receive all essential care, including proper

nutrition and medical attention both before and after her delivery. The court further emphasised the provision of various facilities, including education, until she reaches maturity.

In a news of 17th March, 2020 n Udaipur an 11-year-old rape survivor, pregnant from the assault, undergoes a court-sanctioned medical termination of pregnancy at Zanana Hospital. The District Legal Service Authority sought consent from the minor and her mother, both opting for abortion due to the girl’s age and future considerations. The accused, a 27-year-old, was arrested on March 2 and is in judicial custody.

In a news of 17th March, 2020 in Udaipur an 11-year-old rape survivor, pregnant from the assault, undergoes a court-sanctioned medical termination of pregnancy at Zanana Hospital. The District Legal Service Authority sought consent from the minor and her mother, both opting for abortion due to the girl’s age and future considerations. The accused, a 27-year-old, was arrested on March 2 and is in judicial custody.

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Ashley, a 13-year-old girl in Clarksdale, Mississippi, gave birth to a baby boy named Peanut after being raped in her yard. She kept the assault a secret until her mother, Regina, noticed changes in her behaviour. Ashley’s pregnancy was discovered when she was taken to the emergency room for severe vomiting in January.

Mississippi’s abortion ban is expected to lead to thousands of additional births, particularly among low-income, high-risk mothers. The state’s health department, led by Dr. Daniel Edney, is actively preparing for around 4,000 more live births this year alone. Despite exceptions in the ban for rape victims and maternal life-saving situations, the practical implementation is unclear. Ashley’s case illustrates the challenges, as the exceptions appear largely theoretical, and there are no abortion providers left in the state. The lack of clarity on the exception process raises concerns about access to abortion for those who qualify.

Sources : Times of India, Time Magazine

By : Ankitaa Bal
From Kolkata
Reporting for ‘True To Life’

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