The Kerala High Court has come to the aid of a minor rape victim by permitting medical termination of her 28-week old pregnancy.
The high court permitted the medical termination of pregnancy (MTP) based on the report of a medical board which had examined the victim and had opined that the “anguish caused by continuation of the pregnancy can be presumed to cause a grave injury to the mental health of the 14-year old girl.” The board was constituted on the court’s order on August 12.
In view of the recommendation of the medical board, the court, while allowing the MTP, directed the petitioner — the girl’s mother — to file an appropriate undertaking, authorising the medical team to conduct the surgery at her risk.
The court also said that if the foetus was alive after the procedure, the hospital shall ensure the baby is offered the best medical treatment available, so that it develops into a healthy child.
“If the petitioner is not willing to assume the responsibility of the baby, the state and its agencies shall assume full responsibility and offer medical support and facilities to the child, as may be reasonably feasible, keeping in mind the best interests of the child and the statutory provisions in the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015,” the court said.