INDIA – Bombay High Court allows 24-week abortion for teen rape survivor via telemedicine & Rajasthan High Court Ensures timely aid to rape survivors for abortion

Bombay High Court allows 24-week abortion for teen rape survivor via telemedicine

On 8 May, the Bombay High Court permitted a 16-year-old rape survivor to undergo medical termination of her 24-and-half-week pregnancy after her father filed a petition.

The Court said: “In view of her history and the fact that teenage pregnancy carries a risk of higher mental and physical morbidity and mortality, medical termination of pregnancy has been recommended by the medical board.” The order was passed via a videoconference hearing. The plea had sought urgent orders during the ongoing lockdown and the state and centre supported its urgency. The girl was then 23 weeks pregnant.

SOURCE: Times of India, by Swati Deshpande, 10 May 2020 ; PHOTO, 17 December 2018


Ensuring timely aid to rape survivors for abortion: Rajasthan High Court

The Rajasthan High Court has directed the state government to frame guidelines to ensure that women and girls who become pregnant due to rape are provided timely legal and medical assistance if they seek an abortion, under the terms of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act. The direction was given in a hearing on a special petition, filed by the Rajasthan state government, challenging a decision by a lower court, which had rejected the plea of a 17-year-old rape survivor seeking termination of her pregnancy. Delays by the lower court meant she was 26 weeks pregnant before the decision was given, although she was less than 20 weeks when the application was made.

The higher court directed the government and an NGO to provide all remedial measures to the child born to the survivor in this case. They also said: “If an application for termination of pregnancy is submitted by the guardian of the survivor to the appropriate authority within the stipulated period of 20 weeks as provided by the MTP Act, it shall be processed forthwith and a suitable decision shall be taken thereupon within three days from the date of submission thereof.”

NDTV, by Press Trust of India, 2 May 2020