10-yr-old rape survivor can't terminate pregnancy: SC

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The court's judges said on Friday they could not allow a termination because the medical report suggested it was "neither good for the mother nor the foetus".

The bench, however, expressed its concern over large number of cases being filed in the apex court seeking permission for abortion of foetus of beyond 20-week limit as mandated under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971.

The Supreme Court today allowed a woman to abort her 22-week-old foetus, suffering from the complex neurological problem, as a medical board favoured termination of the pregnancy which was posing severe mental injury to her.

The petition had requested the top court to frame appropriate guidelines to set up a permanent medical board in each district of India for expedient termination of pregnancies in exceptional cases involving child rape survivors and under the best-possible medical facilities.

On July 24, the court had ordered a medical examination of the girl at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) in Chandigarh. She was allegedly raped repeatedly by her maternal uncle for months, according to Srivastava. The amendment to the existing law was moved during the erstwhile government's tenure, seeking to increase the permissible period of abortion from 20 to 24 weeks. "A lot of time is wasted in the aggrieved persons moving the court, which in turn directs the concerned administration to set up a medical board to examine the mother to determine the risk and feasibility of the medical termination of pregnancy".

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She was found to be 26 weeks pregnant.

Noting that a lots of similar cases are coming before this court, the bench asked the central government to have permanent medical board in states so that in first step, the child can be taken there.

In the instant case, the bench also pulled up the petitioner-advocate for not approaching the Punjab and Haryana High Court and preferring to approach the top court against a district court's order of July 18 that had dismissed abortion plea in her case in view of the provisions of law.

The girl's pregnancy was discovered recently when her parents took her to a hospital in Punjab state after she complained of pain in her stomach, NDTV news channel reported. The parents then approached the courts to allow an abortion.

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