The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court today permitted a 23-year-old mentally ill rape survivor to medically terminate her 23-week pregnancy.
A division bench of Justices Sunil Shukre and Avinash Gharote, after perusing a medical committee’s report, opined that the pregnancy should be terminated considering the circumstances of the case.
Provisions of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act permit a woman to terminate pregnancy with the consent of one or more doctors within 20 weeks of conception.
One can terminate a pregnancy beyond 20 weeks only if the courts conclude that the pregnancy poses a threat to the life or health of the mother or the child.
The 25-year-old rape survivor’s father, a daily-wage labourer, approached the High Court after learning about his daughter’s pregnancy and alleged rape from Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) workers.
A criminal case was lodged against the accused and a probe is on.
The court has also directed that the DNA of the foetus be preserved in a sealed condition for the purpose of investigation if required for a period of one year from the date of the order.