Delhi Court Allows 13-Year-Old Assault Survivor To Terminate Pregnancy

On Tuesday, the Delhi High Court allowed a 13-year-old girl, a victim of sexual assault, to terminate her 25-week pregnancy for the sake of life and education.

Judge Prathiba M Singh said a team of doctors from Safdarjung Hospital will perform the operation on Wednesday.

The court passed the order after filing that the girl and mother did not want the pregnancy to continue to term.

“The Court has taken the view that, given the life, education and social circumstances of an underage girl, it is in her interest to terminate the pregnancy.

“Accordingly, the team of doctors at Safdarjun Hospital will proceed with the abortion from tomorrow,” Singh said.

The High Court said the doctor assured her that she would receive the best possible care during the abortion process.

It said the fetal samples would be preserved for the process of the criminal proceedings filed, as they may be needed in the future.

Given that the complainant was a victim of sexual assault, the court said the cost of the abortion would be borne by the Federal Department of Health and Family Welfare.

During the hearing, the court interacted with the team of doctors who examined the minor. The doctor told the judge that the girl’s life would be in danger if the pregnancy continued or stopped.

“She’s only 13. How are you going to continue the pregnancy at this age,” the court asked.

It said it was clear to the court that there were risks for the girl both in the case of abortion and in proceeding with it.

According to the girl’s pleas, she had an ultrasound on January 18 and was found to be 23 weeks and 6 days pregnant.

The family then went to Safdarjung Hospital, after which the FIR was registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Crimes (POCSO) Act.

The girl was taken to the High Court after doctors refused to terminate her pregnancy because she was 25 weeks pregnant and exceeded the permissible limit of 24 weeks for abortion.

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