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Supreme Court of India Orders Medical Termination of Pregnancy for 14-Year-Old Rape Survivor

In a landmark ruling, the Supreme Court of India has ordered the medical termination of a 30-week pregnancy for a 14-year-old rape survivor, overturning a previous decision by the Bombay High Court which had denied permission for the abortion.

Chief Justice DY Chandrachud led the bench that issued the directive, emphasizing the urgency of the situation for the young girl.

The Supreme Court has instructed Sion Hospital in Mumbai to form a team of medical professionals to perform the procedure. Additionally, the court has ensured the safe transportation of the minor to the medical facility, with expenses covered by the Maharashtra government.

The case reached the Supreme Court after the survivor’s mother challenged the Bombay High Court’s decision, which was based on the advanced stage of the pregnancy. The survivor’s mother revealed that her daughter had gone missing in February 2023 and was later found pregnant in Rajasthan, a result of sexual assault.

A case was filed against the perpetrator under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, and the survivor was reunited with her family.

On April 19, the Supreme Court ordered a medical examination of the survivor to assess her physical and psychological condition regarding the termination of the pregnancy. Sion Hospital conducted the examination, and its dean submitted a report confirming the assessment by a team of six doctors.

Under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, termination of pregnancy is permitted for up to 24 weeks for various categories, including rape survivors and minors with specific needs or disabilities.

Previously, the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court had rejected the plea to terminate the victim’s 28-week pregnancy, citing medical opinions that the baby had a high chance of being born alive even through forcible delivery at that stage.

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