Kerala High Court: V. G. Arun, J., allowed medical termination of 28-week pregnancy of a 14-year-old girl.
The mother of the victim had approached the Court seeking permission to abort the victim's 28 weeks of pregnancy. Noticeably, the victim herein is a minor girl aged 14 years.
By its earlier order, the Court had directed the Superintendent of Medical College Hospital to constitute a Medical Board of competent medical practitioners to examine the victim and file a report before the Court.
Accordingly, the Medical Board, after examining the child, opined,
“Gestational age by Ultrasound is 27 weeks 5 days and correlated with clinical findings. Anguish caused by the continuation of pregnancy can be presumed to cause a grave injury to the mental health of 14-year-old unmarried girl. Hence Medical Board is recommending MTP.”
In the light of the suggestion of the Medical Board recommending medical termination of pregnancy (MTP) as continuation of pregnancy may cause grave injury to the mental health of the girl, the Court issued the following interim directions:
The petitioner is permitted to get the victim girl's pregnancy terminated at a Government Hospital.
On production of this order, the Superintendent of the hospital shall take immediate measures to constitute a medical team for conducting the procedure.
The petitioner shall file an appropriate undertaking, authorising the medical team to conduct the surgery at her risk.
If the baby is alive at birth, the hospital shall ensure that the baby is offered the best medical treatment available so that it develops into a healthy child;
If the petitioner is not willing to assume the responsibility of the baby, the State and its agencies shall assume full responsibility and offer medical support and facilities to the child, as may be reasonably feasible, keeping in mind the best interests of the child and the statutory provisions in the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.
[X v. Union of India, W.P.(C) No.26103 of 2022, decided on 16-08-2022]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
M/S. Babu Paul & Murali Manohar, Advocates, For the Petitioner.
*Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has put this report together.