12-yr-old rape survivor stable after abortion in Telangana

The High Court, in its July 5 order, instructed Gandhi Hospital to terminate the pregnancy within 48 hours, with the consent of the girl or her mother.
The procedure was completed on Sunday and the girl is stable.
The procedure was completed on Sunday and the girl is stable.

HYDERABAD : Following the orders of the Telangana High Court, doctors at Gandhi Hospital successfully performed a medical termination of pregnancy (MTP) on a 12-year-old rape survivor who was 26 weeks pregnant. The procedure was completed on Sunday and the girl is stable.

The High Court, in its July 5 order, instructed Gandhi Hospital to terminate the pregnancy within 48 hours, with the consent of the girl or her mother. Complying with this directive, the hospital’s medical team carried out the procedure on Sunday evening.

Gandhi Hospital superintendent Dr M Raja Rao told TNIE: “The surgical procedure to terminate the pregnancy of the girl was carried out by our team of doctors this evening as per the court orders. The patient has been kept under observation as of now and is responding well to the treatment, and we hope for recovery in another 2-3 days.”

Prior to the procedure, the court had instructed the hospital to form a medical board and submit a report on the termination. The board’s report highlighted the risks of terminating the pregnancy, including cervical trauma, uterine perforation, incomplete evacuation, haemorrhage and infection (more common with second trimester MTP than first trimester which has a risk of less than 1%). The report also noted the risk of failed termination, which could necessitate major surgery and pose critical health risks to the girl.

Stating that the right to choose whether to continue or terminate a pregnancy was a fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution, the court ordered the termination of the 26-week pregnancy.

The mother of the survivor, who works as a domestic help, expressed relief to TNIE, saying, “We are relieved that after so many efforts and knocking on the doors of the court for justice, the abortion procedure of my daughter was finally done today, and her life was saved. She is recovering well and I hope to take her home soon. I thank the court and the doctors for their support.”

The court further directed that tissue and blood samples from the victim be sent to the relevant Forensic Laboratory for DNA and other tests, with results to be preserved for trial purposes.

The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Act, 2021, permits MTP up to 24 weeks of pregnancy for rape survivors and beyond 24 weeks for substantial fetal abnormalities. The High Court, referring to previous Supreme Court cases, upheld the fundamental right under Article 21, leading to the termination of the 26-week pregnancy in this case.

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