If Baby Is Alive, Ensure Care- Kerala HC While Permitting Termination Of 24 Weeks Pregnancy Of 15 Year Old
The Kerala High Court has given permission to terminate a 24-week pregnancy of 15 year old rape victim and has directed to constitute a medical team for conducting the procedure.
Justice V G Arun, however, clarified that, "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".
Advocate M. Kabani Dinesh appeared for the Petitioner while the Assistant Solicitor General appeared for the Union and Government pleader for the state.
The Court also ordered that if the Petitioner was 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. The court granted permission to terminate the victim girl's pregnancy at a government hospital.
"Having given careful thought to the vexing question, I deem it appropriate to lean in favour of the minor girl, rather than sticking to the strict letter of law," the Court observed.
The Court referred to a Judgment of the Bombay High Court on the question of what is to be done if the baby survives the procedure. In 2019, the Bombay High Court had passed a similar direction.
The Court observed that each day's delay will add to the victim's agony, while allowing the petition.