The Bombay high court has refused to give permission to a Pune resident’s daughter to abort her 26-week-old foetus. His daughter is a rape survivor. In a petition to the high court, the Pune resident had said that “the pregnancy was caused due to a sexual relation that is not permitted by law or by her. In such circumstances, forcing the pregnancy on her is an infringement of her right to life and right to privacy.”
The 17-year-old girl was raped repeatedly by a neighbour.
Her father said that it his her decision to terminate the pregnancy, and it must not be forced on her.
The Medical Termination Pregnancy Act, which was put in place in 1971, allows abortion only until 20 weeks of pregnancy, and only under certain terms and conditions. Conditions include risk to a pregnant woman’s mental or physical health, and risk of the child suffering from serious handicaps.
Gynaecologists agree that the 20-week timeframe is too narrow because some genetic abnormalities may manifest only after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Last July, the Supreme Court had allowed a rape survivor to abort her 24-week old. In May 2017, however, the Supreme Court turned down an appeal by a rape survivor who had HIV, and was 27 weeks’ pregnant.
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