‘Pregnancy can be dangerous due to sexual harassment’, SC allows abortion

Supreme Court: The Supreme Court allowed abortion to a 27-week pregnant woman. This woman from Gujarat is a victim of rape. Gujarat High Court had refused abortion on the basis of advance pregnancy. At the same time, the Supreme Court allowed abortion on the basis of new medical reports. It was said in this report that safe abortion is possible.

The court also said that if the fetus is found to be alive, the hospital will ensure the survival of the child by keeping it in incubation. It will be the responsibility of the Gujarat government to ensure that the child is adopted as per the law. During the hearing, the Supreme Court criticized the Gujarat High Court and said that the court delayed taking a decision in such a case. When the matter came to the Supreme Court, then the High Court issued the order.

Such pregnancy can affect the victim
The Supreme Court observed that pregnancy within the institution of marriage in Indian society is an occasion of joy and celebration not only for the couple but also for their family and friends. On the contrary, pregnancy outside marriage, especially in cases of sexual harassment or sexual assault, can be dangerous, the court said. Such pregnancy can not only affect the physical and mental health of pregnant women, but is also a cause of anxiety and mental anguish. Sexual assault on a woman is stressful in itself and pregnancy due to sexual assault can have adverse consequences as such pregnancy is not voluntary or as per one’s pleasure.’

The Supreme Court reprimanded the High Court
The bench said, ‘In view of the above discussion and medical report, we allow the petitioner to have an abortion. We direct that she be present in the hospital tomorrow so that the process of abortion can be started. In a special sitting, the Supreme Court on Saturday (August 19) expressed displeasure over the Gujarat High Court not allowing the victim’s plea seeking medical abortion and said that precious time was wasted during the pendency of the matter.

The upper time limit for abortion under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act is 24 weeks of pregnancy for special categories of women, including married women, rape victims and other vulnerable women such as the disabled and minors.

(with PTI-language input)

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