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14-year-old girl permitted to have her 28-week pregnancy medically terminated: Kerala High Court

14-year-old girl permitted to have her 28-week pregnancy medically terminated by the Kerala High Court in the case of X v. Union of India (W.P.(C) No.26103 of 2022) through Justice V. G. Arun

FACTS OF THE CASE

In the present case, the victim’s mother had applied to the court for authorization to terminate the victim’s 28-week pregnancy. Notably, the victim in this case is a young girl under the age of 14.

JUDGMENT

By an earlier decision, the Court had instructed the Medical College Hospital’s Superintendent to assemble a Medical Board of qualified doctors to examine the victim and submit a report to the Court.

In light of this, the Medical Board concluded after assessing the youngster that the gestational age determined by ultrasound is 27 weeks and 5 days, which is consistent with the clinical signs. It is reasonable to assume that the pain of the ongoing pregnancy will seriously harm the mental health of the 14-year-old unmarried girl. As a result, the Medical Board suggests MTP.

The Court issued the certain interim directives in light of the Medical Board’s recommendation for medical termination of pregnancy (MTP), as continuing the pregnancy could seriously harm the girl’s mental health.

The Court said that the victim girl’s pregnancy may be ended by the petitioner at a government hospital. Court also said that the hospital’s superintendent must act quickly to assemble a medical team for the procedure upon presentation of this directive. The petitioner was directed to provide the proper undertaking, giving the medical staff permission to operate on her at her own risk.

The Court further said that keeping in mind the child’s best interests and the legal requirements of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act of 2015, the State and its agencies shall assume full responsibility for the infant and provide medical support and facilities as may be reasonably possible if the petitioner is unwilling to take on that responsibility.

Accordingly, the 14-year-old girl permitted to have her 28-week pregnancy medically terminated.

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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY NISHTHA GARHWAL

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