Pregnancy of 14-year-old rape survivor terminated at Cuttack hospital

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Cuttack, Apr 10 (PTI) The pregnancy of a 14-year-old rape survivor was terminated at a hospital in Cuttack on Saturday, following an order of the Orissa High Court, officials said.

The girl was in the 23rd week of her pregnancy, they said.

The procedure was done at the SCB Medical College and Hospital after approval by a medical board, they added.

On Friday, the high court directed the medical superintendent of the hospital to constitute a board of three experts to examine the girl and go for the procedure 'at the very earliest' as per its suggestion.

The direction was given by a division bench comprising Chief Justice S Muralidhar and Justice BP Routray on a writ petition filed by a native of Puri.

In the petition, the father of the girl prayed for the medical termination of the pregnancy of his daughter as per the MTP (Amendment) Act of 2021.

The Puri district hospital had referred the girl for the hospital in Cuttack on March 26, noting in the referral sheet that her pregnancy was 21 weeks old.

On March 30, the referral hospital wrote to the Director of Medical Education and Training (DMET), stating that since the pregnancy was more than 20 weeks old, the medical termination of pregnancy (MTP) could only be done with permission from the court.

Considering the recent amendment in the MTP law, the high court directed the SCB Hospital to form an opinion by Saturday noon and proceed to arrange for the termination procedure at the very earliest as the rape survivor is already in the 23rd week of pregnancy.

The new law has raised the upper limit for permitting abortions to 24 weeks for 'special categories of women', including rape survivors, victims of incest, minors and the differently-abled. PTI CORR AAM SOM SOM