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India’s top court allows 13-year-old rape victim to terminate pregnancy

NEW DELHI, September 6 — India’s top court Wednesday permitted a 13-year-old rape victim to terminate her 32-weeks pregnancy, officials said.
The victim hailing from Mumbai was raped by her father’s colleague and needed court directions to abort her foetus.
The abortion is set to take place on Friday.
“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.
Mukherjee said judges ordered an immediate termination to avoid further trauma to the victim.
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.
Gynaecologist Dr Nikhil Datar, who discovered the pregnancy last month welcomed the court’s decision.
“This is encouraging. The Supreme Court has identified the issues with Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act. They should now also take pro active steps to amend the Act and extend cap for abortion,” Datar said.
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 prenatal diagnostic test Act prohibits medical termination of pregnancy after 20-week period. The law, however, provides an exception for such termination beyond 20 weeks if there is a danger to the mother’s life.
Several petitions filed by individuals is pending before the top court challenging the constitutional validity of the 20-week limit, citing several ailments are detected after it.


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