Karnataka HC permits termination of 25-week pregnancy of 13-year-old rape victim subject to Govt doctor’s opinion

Bengaluru: The Karnataka High Court has permitted the termination of a 25-week pregnancy of a 13-year-old rape victim, subject to the opinion of doctors at a government hospital. 

It said, the doctor will be the deciding authority after examining the victim and assessing if such a procedure will endanger her life.

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“The procedure is subject to further examination of the doctor who has to conduct such a procedure and if in the opinion of the doctor, such a procedure would cause harm or injury to the life of the petitioner, the doctor shall be the final deciding authority as to whether to go ahead or not with such a procedure,” the HC said in a recent order.

The victim and her family members will be transported from her home to the hospital and back by the local police, the HC said.

The cost of the procedure will be borne by the government and if the procedure is carried out, the foetus will be preserved for future DNA testing in the case, Justice M Nagaprasanna has directed hospital authorities.

The tissue sample will be sent by the hospital to the Central Forensic Testing Laboratory in Bengaluru or Hyderabad for preservation, the HC said.

The procedure will have to be carried out as per the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Rules, 1971, the HC said citing an earlier HC judgment in a similar case.

The victim had approached the HC with a petition through her mother. The victim was raped in May 2022.

Any future medical expenses of the victim will also be borne by the government. “In the event of any follow-up treatment being required and as advised by the treating doctor, the state government shall arrange for such transport at such times as advised and/or as directed by the doctor, the same being carried out at the cost of the state government,” the HC said.

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