Kerala HC permits pregnancy termination of minor rape victim

Wed Sep 22 2021 17:27:14 GMT+0530 (IST)

As a big area of concern, the petitions filed by the minor rape survivors seeking directives to terminate the pregnancy are growing in Kerala. One such case had appeared before the Kerala High Court. Hearing the plea, the court gave a sensational verdict.

Going into details, a 16-year-old, a rape survivor had knocked on the doors of the Kerala High Court to terminate her pregnancy. She had to move the court as a private hospital facility said they can't terminate the pregnancy as it's a matter of crime. The girl was 8 weeks pregnant.

The plea was filed by the father of the victim. While issuing the directives permitting the termination of the pregnancy, the Kerala High Court had advised the victim's father that the victim should be admitted to a state-run hospital.

The victim's advocate had told the High Court that the hospital reused to go ahead with the termination of the pregnancy fearing that they might face the prosecution on the charges of destructing the evidence.

In one week, the Kerala High Court heard three such petitions, including the new one. The victims in the two previous cases were carrying for over 26 weeks. As the situation of the victims was a bit critical, the Kerala High Court permitted the pregnancy termination after consulting a medical board.

The advocate representing the Kerala government was also present during the hearing of the case. Citing the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, the lawyer said that a medical practitioner can terminate the pregnancy if the pregnancy is under 12 weeks.

The verdict of the Kerala High Court is a big relief to the victims and survivors of the sexual crimes as they face a lot of difficulties and issues while terminating the pregnancy. Quoting the court orders, the victims in other states can also seek a similar order.

Even the Covid outbreak and the series of lockdowns couldn't help in reducing the crimes against women and girls. Between the first wave of Covid and the January of 2021, as many as seven minor girls have moved the court to get relief.