India lets rape victim, 13, terminate pregnancy

MUMBAI • India's top court yesterday allowed a 13-year-old rape victim to terminate her 32-week pregnancy, officials said.

The victim, hailing from Mumbai, was raped by her father's colleague and needed a ruling from the court to abort her foetus, with the abortion set to take place this week.

"Abortion could well take place the day after tomorrow as the court has asked us to admit the girl tomorrow and carry out the abortion the day after," advocate Sneha Mukherjee, the petitioner's counsel, told media yesterday.

The girl's pregnancy was discovered after her parents took her to a doctor to seek treatment for obesity. The accused in the case is under arrest.

The Supreme Court's decision came following a report from a medical board from Mumbai's J J hospital that the child should undergo an abortion.

Last month, a 10-year-old rape victim, whose abortion plea was turned down by the apex court, delivered a baby through C-section at a government hospital in the northern city of Chandigarh.

She was 32 weeks pregnant, but she was denied permission to abort after a doctors' panel in their report to court said that termination of her pregnancy would be "too risky".

In India, the pre-natal diagnostic test Act prohibits medical termination of pregnancy after 20 weeks. However, an exception is provided for such termination beyond 20 weeks if there is a danger to the mother's life.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 07, 2017, with the headline 'India lets rape victim, 13, terminate pregnancy'. Print Edition | Subscribe