Rape survivor's pregnancy came to light after 30 weeks

The delayed detection of the girl’s pregnancy had led to passing of the window for abortion  permitted under the  MTP Act

Published: 29th July 2017 07:44 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th July 2017 07:44 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

CHANDIGARH: THE  10-year-old rape survivor’s pregnancy was discovered only after the doctors at the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) in Chandigarh broke the news to her parents, where they had taken her after complaints of severe stomach pain.

The parents were told that the girl was 30 weeks pregnant bt the doctors followed by which, they  found out that she had been subjected to repeated rape allegedly by her 55-year-old maternal uncle Kul Bahadur.
 On July 18, a local court refused permission for an abortion on the basis of the GMCH report that claimed that the girl was heavily pregnant then and cannot undergo abortion as under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, medical termination of pregnancy is allowed only up to 20 weeks and exceptions are only made if the foetus is genetically abnormal.

Soon after, a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed by filed by advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava in the Supreme Court against the verdict of the local court.

According to sources, the girl’s family hails from Nepal and her father works as watchman and her mother as a house maid.

The minor had been earlier operated upon for ventricular septal defect (a heart defect).
The Supreme Court on Friday rejected a petition seeking its nod to terminate 32-week-old foetus after the eight-member team of doctors from the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) ruled out the possibility citing medical reasons.

The apex court gave its verdict on the basis of the medical board’s report stating that the termination of pregnancy is neither good for the girl nor for the foetus.
A bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud took note of the report of the medical board.

In view of the recommendations made in by the medical board in its report, it would neither be in the interest of the girl child nor the alive foetus, which is approximately 32-weeks-old, to order abortion,” the bench said.

Meanwhile the doctors were also of the opinion that the pelvic bones of the girl may not yet be fully developed and therefore tolerating a full-term pregnancy is very risky.
In May this year, the Supreme Court had allowed a 10-year-old rape survivor from the Haryana to abort her nearly 21-week foetus.

The country has a grim record of sexual assaults on minors with 20,000 cases of rape or sexual assaults reported in 2015, according to government data.

Timeline
July 14: 10-year-old girl complains of stomach ache. Doctors are startled to discovered she is nearly eight months’ pregnant. It turns out she was raped repeated by her maternal uncle.
July 15: Girl’s family moves application for termination of pregnancy.
July 18: District court in Chandigarh rejects the plea citing the law that pregnancies past 20 weeks cannot be terminated unless under medical advice.
July 20: Delhi-based lawyer files a PIL in Supreme Court
July 24: Girl’s pregnancy has by now progressed beyond thrity weeks. Apex court asks PGIMER Chandigarh to examine the girl to ascertain if the pregnancy can be terminated now
July 26: Eight-member panel of PGIMER doctors examines the girl from 9.30 am to 1 pm, submits report in sealed envelope to the court.
July 28: Supreme Court refuses to allow termination of pregnancy on the advice of the medical board.

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