Kerala HC allows 14-year-old rape survivor to terminate 24-week pregnancy

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Kerala High Court on Monday allowed a 14-year-old rape survivor to terminate her 24-week-long pregnancy.

 

The division bench comprising Justices AK Jayashankaran Nambiar and Shaji P Chaly passed the order based on the recommendations of medical board.

The medical board said that the continuation of the pregnancy would pose risk to the physical and mental health of the adolescent girl as there is an increased risk of "all obstetric complications including gestational hypertension, anemia, risk of operative delivery and obstetric hemorrhage".

The petition was moved by the girl's father as the pregnancy had advanced the length of 20 weeks, the permissible time duration for a legal abortion.

The court also noted that the right to make reproductive choices is a facet of personal liberty under Article 21 of the Constitution.

The board also opined that there is a possibility of emotionally unstable personality traits in the patient and that the girl did not appear to have the maturity required.

According to the petition, the girl had gone missing around five months ago, and a habeas corpus petition was filed in the High Court to trace her. 

Later, she was found with a 28-year married man in Mangalore, who was arrested and booked for offenses under the IPC and POCSO.

 

With inputs from Agency

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