Abortion relief for teen

Doctors' panel nod to end 24-week pregnancy

By Our Special Correspondent in Ahemdabad
  • Published 31.07.15

Ahmedabad, July 30: A 14-year-old who was allegedly sedated and raped by a doctor has got permission to terminate her pregnancy.

A panel of doctors from the Civil Hospital here, who examined the girl following a Supreme Court order, today recommended that her 24-week-old foetus be aborted.

"The process to abort the minor rape victim's pregnancy will start tomorrow," Dr M.M. Prabhakar, the hospital's superintendent, said.

Under existing laws, a pregnancy cannot be terminated after 20 weeks unless there is an immediate threat to the mother's life. But the girl's family wanted an abortion on the ground of the social stigma that would follow if she gave birth.

The Class X student, who was suffering from typhoid, had been taken to the clinic of the accused on February 7 this year. The doctor had asked her mother to wait outside, gave the teen sedatives and then allegedly raped her while she was unconscious.

The girl regained her senses during the assault but did not report it to anyone after being threatened by the doctor.

The girl, who comes from a socially underprivileged background, did not at first realise she was pregnant, her lawyer Anand Yagnik said, describing the Supreme Court order for taking a medical call as "historic".

It was only after four months that she complained to her mother about an ache in her stomach. She was taken to another doctor, who confirmed she was pregnant.

On July 23, Gujarat High Court rejected a petition by the girl's father seeking permission for abortion. The father had then moved the apex court, which directed that a panel of four doctors - three senior gynaecologists and a clinical psychologist - should decide whether the girl should have an abortion.

The girl, said to be a bright student, yesterday told a local newspaper that she wanted "to become a doctor, to show that not all doctors are bad".

The girl is from a small town in north Gujarat where her father runs a bicycle repair shop. Her mother is a homemaker. Doctors at the Civil Hospital, where the girl was admitted yesterday, said she would be discharged after 10 days.