Hearing the case of a pregnant rape victim, The High Court single judge bench of Justice Bollam Vijaysen Reddy on Thursday gave a sensational verdict. Allowing the abortion of a 26-week-old foetus of a minor rape survivor, the court stated that a woman must have absolute rights in matters of abortions and a woman’s right to privacy, dignity and bodily integrity should be respected.
The case came to a hearing with the 16-year-old girl’s mother approaching the High Court over the private hospital’s refusal to abort her foetus. The hospital said it needs permission from a court of law to abort the 26 week-old foetus as it is beyond the prescribed gestation period.
The judge in his order said: “ If the petitioner is not permitted to terminate the pregnancy there is every possibility of the petitioner undergoing severe physical and mental stress, which may have adverse effects on her future health and prospects.”
The judgement came close on the heels of the latest amendment of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act and also the powers of a high court to intervene in such issues.