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Bombay High Court allows mentally challenged rape victim to terminate pregnancy

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.

Bombay High Court

The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court on Friday permitted medical termination of a mentally challenged rape victim’s 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 one 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 victim”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 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. 

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